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Volunteers are our VIPs

Get involved with caring for the Chilterns and meet new friends along the way. Choose from a wide and fascinating variety of volunteering opportunites.

This page is regularly updated with new opportunities. If you have some spare time and an interest in anything mentioned below, please contact the relevant person.

Our monthly Chiltern Society eNews often includes a detailed timetable of volunteering opportunities. If you do not already subscribe to it, you can do so here

Rights of Way Group Area Secretaries

Rights of way helpDo you love pulling on your walking boots and striding out along the fantastic network – nearly 2,500 miles – of paths that can be found right across Chilterns?

Do you have a keen interest in ensuring that the Chilterns continues to offer everybody great opportunities to enjoy this wonderful countryside? If so, this might be just the thing for you. Why not volunteer to become one of our Area Secretaries?

The Chiltern Society Rights of Way Group currently has two Area Secretary vacancies. One area includes Burnham, Farnham Royal, Stoke Poges, Taplow and Wexham and the other covers Denham, Fulmer, Gerrards Cross, Hedgerley and Beaconsfield. If you live locally to either of these areas, these are great opportunities for you to really make a difference. There are 20 Area Secretaries when all our areas are covered. They are the absolute cornerstone of the Chiltern Society's Rights of Way Group (RoWG), taking responsibility within their part of the Chilterns for the Group's core activity: the effective monitoring of paths and open access land.

Area Secretaries work with a team of Path Representatives and take action to resolve any reported difficulties regarding the condition of their network of paths, examine and respond to proposals to create, divert, or extinguish paths, and help seek improvements to the path network.

What's in it for you? The satisfaction of knowing that you're contributing to the maintenance of the footpath network in this popular area, working with a great group of like-minded individuals and joining a growing and unique team of Chiltern Society volunteers.

If you'd like to know more, please contact Brian Lawson (Secretary of the RoWG) on 01494 815814 for an informal chat about this interesting and stimulating voluntary role, or email Brian

Book Distributors

Rights of way helpWe are publishing an increasing number of books featuring stunning walks in all areas of the Chilterns. This year, to celebrate the Society's 50th year, there's a new book of 50 fantastic walks in all corners of the Chilterns.

The walks have been written and researched by keen walkers, most of whom are fellow members, and are aimed at the growing number of people of all ages who really appreciate the joys of a relaxing ramble in the Chilterns, much of which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All our books are proving to be really popular, are keenly priced and are snapped-up when they go on sale

We'd love to see our books being sold in as many outlets as possible including: bookshops, pubs, shops selling outdoor clothing, boots and equipment, etc., and at local events.

We're looking for someone to co-ordinate sales of our books including contacting shop owners, pub landlords, etc., as well organising distribution of the books working with a small team of volunteers.

What's in it for you? The satisfaction of knowing that thousands of walkers can enjoy some of the best scenery in the land, working with some brilliant people and the knowledge that you're making a real difference! It should only take up a couple of hours a week of your time.

If you're interested, please give Geoff Wiggett, our volunteer co-ordinator, a call on 01442 875906 or email him

Path Maintenance Volunteers in Herts and Beds

PAth Maintenance VolunteersThe Chiltern Society is building a Path Maintenance Volunteer Group in the North Chilterns area. This will complement the existing PMV Groups in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Are you interested in helping as a PMV volunteer in Herts and Beds? You can help keep the brilliant network of footpaths, bridleways, stiles and steps in the north Chilterns in good condition and at the same time, get some great healthy exercise working with a very sociable group of volunteers! No special skills are necessary – this is great fun and really satisfying work – and any training needs are provided 'on the job'. There will be work parties twice monthly and all tools, refreshments and insurance cover are provided by the Chiltern Society.

All you need is to wear a pair of stout boots and strong gloves together with appropriate clothing for outdoor work. Initially the work is likely to be in Dacorum and parts of Bedfordshire slightly to the north of Dacorum.

Once we have a team of trained volunteers a work programme and diary will be circulated.

Interested? Call Les Mosco, who is helping build the team, on 07799 718283 for an informal chat or email him

Conservation Volunteers, Herts

Conservation Volunteers Hertfordshire Our long-established Herts Conservation Volunteer Group is looking for new blood!

The Group is an established and highly-experienced collection of volunteers which visits an amazingly diverse range of sites in Hertfordshire and further afield. The group works with other local conservation and 'Friends of...' groups, and members happily give their time and expertise to a series of local conservation projects.

They have, over the years, carried out a huge number of tasks including pond restoration, footpath maintenance, scrub clearance, tree planting, hedge laying and meadow cutting to mention just a few, giving nature a helping-hand by maintaining native plants and special habitats. The Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month as well as regular Sundays, so there are opportunities for those that can help on weekdays or on weekends. No experience is necessary, both men and women are welcome, on-the-job training is given and tools and refreshments are provided. All work is carefully supervised and health and safety is paramount to the success of the Group.

Work parties are 10am-1pm and the Group makes arrangements to car-share when travelling to most locations. You'll really enjoy this role if you like working with others, relish the chance to work outdoors at some stunning locations and want to add to your fitness and wellbeing. The job will also give you tremendous satisfaction knowing that you're part of the solution to helping wildlife, rather than causing harm and being part of the problem. If you live in or near to an area between St Albans to the east, Tring and Wendover to the west, Markyate to the north and Amersham to the south then you're well-placed to help. Interested? For more information call our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Geoff Wiggett, on 01442 875906 for an informal chat, or email him

Path Maintenance Volunteers, Central & South Chilterns

PAth Maintenance VolunteersHelp keep the brilliant network of footpaths, bridleways, stiles and steps in central and south Chilterns in good condition and at the same time, get some great healthy exercise working with a very sociable group of volunteers!

No special skills are necessary and any training needs are provided 'on the job'. There are regular work parties most weeks and all tools and insurance cover are provided by the Chiltern Society. All you need is to wear a pair of stout boots and strong gloves together with appropriate clothing for outdoor work.

For more information and an informal chat contact Howard Dell (South Chilterns) on 01494 764149 or by email or Richard Boas (Central Chilterns) on 01628 527978 or by email

Conservation Group Team Leader, Bedfordshire

Conservation Group Team LeaderThe Chiltern Society wants to expand it's presence in the Central Beds area and this is a great voluntary job which will really make a difference.

The Chiltern Society is keen to expand the general scope of its activities in Central Bedfordshire and, in particular, build a Central Bedfordshire Conservation Group. The job of volunteer Team Leader to help establish, develop and co-ordinate the activities of this new Group will prove to be tremendously satisfying and rewarding.

The Group will help maintain the condition of rights of way as well as offering volunteer help on commons, village greens and countryside sites throughout the Central Beds area and occasionally working with other interested parties and 'Friends of…' groups.

We are similarly active in many other areas throughout the Chilterns and have a great reputation for providing skill and expertise on some stunningly beautiful visitor sites, nature reserves and footpaths and, above all, offering our volunteers great opportunities to help maintain these beautiful locations.

Is this of interest to you? If so why not have an informal chat about the role (or any other aspect of volunteering with the Chiltern Society) with the Society's Volunteer Co-ordinator, Geoff Wiggett, on 01442 875906 or email him

Walks Leaders

Rights of way helpThe Chiltern Society has a busy walks programme, including walks of various lengths several times a month, which we very much wish to maintain and extend.

We are always looking for volunteers to help us by leading walks, whether on a regular or an occasional basis. If you think you might like to do this please contact Judy Sonley, our Walks coordinator, on 01494 712857.

For further information about our walks programme, click here.

Planning Field Officers

Planning Field OfficersThe Chiltern Society always has new and exciting volunteering opportunities – and here are some more!

Volunteer Planning Field Officers are wanted for South Bucks and Dacorum… we would also be happy to chat with you if you're interested in a similar role in any other districts in the Chilterns.

The Chiltern Society, acting through its Planning Group, has achieved much success over many years in helping to stop the most damaging forms of new development which have been proposed within the Chilterns as well as working with many other local and national bodies in influencing and advising on planning affairs and how they might affect the Chilterns. Would you like to be part of this very successful team of volunteers?

If you have a couple of hours to spare each week, are concerned about how an area can be changed forever by inappropriate development and feel that you'd like to add your voice to those that worry about the impact that recent changes to the planning process are going to make, this could be just the thing for you.

All we ask is that you monitor and assess individual planning applications in your designated area and add your comments to the consultation process. You can add interest to the role by developing and maintaining relationships with both district and county planning officers. The Society's Planning Group is able to offer you real help, support and expertise –  which is second to none!

Interested? For more information and an informal chat, contact Geoff Wiggett, the Chiltern Society's Volunteer Co-ordinator on 01442 875906 or email him

Path Representatives for Rights of Way Group

Rights of way helpPath Representatives play an essential role in the Chiltern Society's Rights of Way Group (RoWG), each checking the condition, accessibility and way-marking of an agreed list of paths.

Problems can then be reported to the appropriate County authority and action quickly taken to carry out repair and maintenance. Many path reps also willingly carry out minor maintenance of their paths, the type of jobs that require no formal authority from the County.

We currently have about 140 volunteer Path Representatives and are well staffed in many areas. There are however also some areas where we would like to fill vacancies.

We are particularly keen to hear from anybody who might like to help us in the places listed below. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Brian Lawson, the Secretary of the Rights of Way Group on 01494 815814.

Buckinghamshire – Ashley Green, Denham, North Beaconsfield, Stokenchurch, and the parishes from Edlesborough to Marsworth, i.e., Edlesborough, Ivinghoe, Marsworth and Pitstone.

Hertfordshire – Abbots Langley, Bovingdon, Flaunden, Kings Langley and Nash Mills.

Central Bedfordshire – Houghton Regis, Potten End and Whipsnade, and the parishes from Barton-le-Clay beyond Luton to Hyde including Barton-le-Clay, Chalton, Harlington, Hyde, Shillington, Streatley, Sundon and Toddington,

If you are able to help you will be playing a significant part in keeping the ever popular path network in the Chilterns in a condition that enables walkers and riders to enjoy the countryside to the full.

Conservation Volunteers, Marlow Common (North)

Conservation Volunteers Marlow Common (N)It forms part of a large tract of woodland lying to the west of Marlow. It comprises mainly English oak and silver birch with an understorey of bracken. Most of the year, it's alive with wildlife.

An 'Open Access' site – meaning visitors are encouraged to explore without having to keep to footpaths – Marlow Common is owned by Wycombe District Council and management is now in the hands of the Chiltern Society. WDC chose the Chiltern Society as future stewards and managers because they knew that, with our track record, the site would continue to be managed in a sensitive and sustainable way whilst allowing visitors to get close to nature and experience the stunning beauty of this wonderful landscape.

The Society is fully committed to maintaining the unique character of all these sites and has been fortunate in recruiting a site co-ordinator and an activity leader to manage and care for the site and also to form a group of Conservation volunteers to help with the many tasks required.

We already have a huge network of truly amazing people giving up their time every week to really make a difference so why not join them? These are fantastic opportunities for anyone interested in helping to improve our natural environment in this increasingly urbanised world.

Conservation volunteers – join our new team of fit and energetic conservation volunteers, men and women who can turn their hands to almost any task. This local common will offer you endless opportunities to express yourself in ways that will surprise you. You'll meet some really remarkable people, learn new skills, gain knowledge about wildlife and use up that bit of spare energy.

You may be looking for something different to fill your day or you may only have a few hours to spare each week – it's up to you to decide how much time you can give us. That's one of the great things about volunteering. Just turn up – we'll do the rest!

All you need is commitment, energy, enthusiasm and a passion for the outdoor world.

For full details of Marlow Common, further information about any of the wonderful volunteering opportunities described here or for any other information, please ring Jeff Short on 01628 481358. Jeff can also be contacted by email

Conservation and Visitor Centre Volunteers, Ewelme

Ewelme VolunteersJoin a happy band of conservation volunteers at our Ewelme Watercress Beds and Local Nature Reserve.

Help keep the historic watercress beds in good order, or help out in the visitor centre (entrance tickets, product sales, refreshments, etc). Contact the Project Officer, Ann Truesdale, on 01491 835173.

Weekend Conservation Volunteers, Central Chilterns

Conservation Volunteers Marlow Common (N)Join an active group of volunteers covering an area from High Wycombe to Wendover, Latimer and the Chalfonts.

For more information, please contact Christine Breden 01844 353192.

Volunteers are encouraged to read our Volunteer Handbook. Clicking the above image will download a PDF of it to your device

For more information left-click the image above to open the Volunteers are our VIPs leaflet in a new window, or right-click to download it (1MB PDF).