Parks Volunteers and Friends Groups

Volunteering in our parks and open spaces

Volunteers make an important contribution to keeping our parks and open spaces green and tidy for everyone to enjoy

Our parks volunteer programme aims to increase the ways in which people can get involved and contribute to maintaining and improving our green open spaces as well as supporting local communities

Volunteering can also help you gain skills and increase confidence. You may also receive training in more specialised volunteering activities

There are several ways you can get involved and volunteering opportunities include:

Great British Spring Clean

The Great British Spring Clean is a national campaign by Keep Britain Tidy to encourage community involvement in looking after our local environment and to encourage a change in behaviour.

Joining or starting a ‘friends’ group

Friends groups are community run groups that help with all aspects of looking after the open space. This can include practical tasks such as maintenance and litter picking or applying for grants or running fundraising events to help with park improvements. There may already be a friends group for your local park. For more information visit our Parks Friends Group page

Conservation volunteering

Conservation volunteers help look after our wilder open spaces, such as Southampton Common, Jurds Lake and along the Greenways. Work in these areas usually take place between September to February to prevent disturbance to the wildlife, however there are tasks, such as path maintenance, that can be carried out all year round.

Corporate social responsibility volunteering

Our parks and open spaces offer a wide range of corporate volunteering opportunities for businesses and groups who are keen to improve their local environment. Tasks could include path construction or clearance, pond clearance, woodland maintenance and seasonal planting.

Litter picks

Litter picks take place all over the city and are organised by friends or community groups, individuals or by the Community Engagement Team. There are regular litter picks at different sites around the city or ones that just take place when the need arises.

Leading walks

Helping others to enjoy our open spaces by leading a guided walk. We can offer training to increase your confidence/knowledge of a particular area.

Helping out at The Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre (UWC)

The Hawthorns UWC offers information and advice about local wildlife and how we can improve our environment to prevent further decline of our native species. You don’t have to be a wildlife expert as there are lots of opportunities to get involved including

  • Helping keep the Centre open at weekends by talking to visitors to the Centre and helping them get more out of their visit
  • Leading short guided walks around the grounds
  • Leading guided walks on Southampton Common
  • Running an activity such as minibeast hunts or environmental games
  • Hands on family friendly themed activities/arts and crafts
  • Help develop displays and activities

Forest schools and environmental education

  • Helping out at a Forest School type activities, mainly during school holidays or occasionally during term time. These activities take place at sites other than The Common
  • Helping to run educational activities for school groups, youth and young peoples groups

If you are interested in volunteering please click here to fill in an enquiry form: