Phone: 01394 445225 | Email: schaonb@suffolk.gov.uk

Practical Conservation Tasks

Volunteers helping out in the AONB

Volunteers help the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) staff team on conservation projects to increase the biodiversity within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and wider project areas.

We hold regular conservation work days throughout the year. All you have to do is register as a volunteer and we will notify you when work days are happening so you can book your place on the task.

The volunteers regularly undertake practical conservation work. If you would like to work outdoors in the beautiful Coast & Heaths, help your local environment and meet some new people, then why not join us!


We sometimes work on projects with community and corporate volunteers, so you may be working alongside such groups. Additional training is offered, for example in first aid, should you be interested.

You work for as long as you wish and at your own pace. Knowledge of landscape, heritage, wildlife and conservation is not needed, you can learn as you go along.

All locations will have been risk-assessed beforehand and personal protective equipment is provided to ensure tasks are safe working environments.

Examples of jobs and tasks include:

  • Habitat management and creation
  • Biodiversity projects
  • Beach cleaning, surveys and The Great British Beach Clean
  • Tree and hedge planting
  • Removing plastic tubes and guards from trees

These conservation initiatives are vital as they help the AONB fulfil its commitment to the Colchester Declaration, which is the AONB network’s response to the biodiversity crisis.

For more information on any of the volunteering opportunities and roles within the AONB, please contact Countryside Project Officer Neil Lister or AONB Nature Recovery Officer Alex Moore da Luz.

2022-23 Practical Conservation Volunteering Programme

Friday 4th November 2022: Sapling Removal

Location: Westleton Heath or Dunwich Forest

Tuesday 8th November 2022: Birch & Pine Clearance

Clearing trees from this classic Sandlings heath and stacking and/or burning

Location: Tunstall Common


Tuesday 15th November 2022: Improve a Geological Site

Talus removal (by hand digging) and clearing paths (including access to the Pit) and vegetation

Location: Alderton Crag Pit


Friday 18th November 2022: Sapling Removal

Location: Westleton Heath or Dunwich Heath


Tuesday 22nd November 2022: Gorse Clearance

Clearing gorse from this classic Sandlings heath and stacking and/or burning

Location: Westleton Common

Tuesday 29th November 2022: Coppicing & Tree Thinning

Hand coppicing holly and digging out the small trees, making a dead hedge

Location: Vicarage Grove, Wenhaston

Tuesday 6th December 2022: Tree/Hedge Planting

Planting trees and hedging in the newly designated area of the AONB

Location: Dodnash Fruit Farm

Tuesday 13th December 2022: Tree/Hedge Planting

Planting hedging and trees

Location: Blaxhall Common

Tuesday 20th December 2022: Vegetation Clearance for Access

Widening path(s) by cutting back the gorse bramble and in places the sward

Location: Southwold Common

Friday 13th January 2023: Erecting Wader Fencing

Location: Shotley Gate

Tuesday 17th January 2023: Building Stag Beetle Pyramids

Building log pyramids as habitat for our largest beetle

Location: Dodnash Fruit Farm

Tuesday 24th January 2023: Variety of Tasks

Removing bramble/trees from best areas for wildflowers. Gorse removal. Scything, etc.

Location: Church Field, Waldringfield

Friday 27th January 2023 – Erecting Wader Fencing

Location: Shotley Gate

Tuesday 31st January 2023: Coppicing & Tree Thinning

Hand coppicing holly and digging out the smaller trees, making a dead hedge. Post restoration (possibly)

Location: Vicarage Grove, Wenhaston

Friday 3rd February 2023 – Erecting Wader Fencing

Location: Wrabness

Tuesday 7th February 2023: Gorse Clearance

Clearing gorse from this classic Sandlings heath and stacking and/or burning

Location: Westleton Common

Tuesday 14th February 2023: Birch & Pine Clearance

Clearing trees from this classic Sandlings heath and stacking and/or burning

Location: Tunstall Common

Tuesday 21st February 2023: Tree/Hedge Planting

Planting hedging and trees

Location: Blaxhall Common

Friday 24th February 2023: Erecting Wader Fencing

Location: Wrabness

Friday 3rd March 2023: Hedge replant and mulching

Location: Sutton

Friday 17th March 2023: Hedge replant and mulching

Location: Sutton

Tuesday 21st March 2023: Improve a Geological Site

tbc

Location: tbc