Wild Lives at Rutland Water Nature Reserve Project

The Wild Lives at Rutland Water Project represents a truly significant and meaningful investment in volunteering at Rutland Water Nature Reserve. It is an exciting, ambitious and inspiring programme that will build on the impressive commitment of our volunteers and greatly improve the range of volunteering opportunities on offer, taking the overall volunteer experience to a whole new level.

Over 400 volunteers are regularly involved in helping the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust to manage Rutland Water Nature Reserve, with total volunteer input typically running at around 35,000 hours per year. The range of tasks and services delivered by volunteers is considerable, including practical nature conservation, habitat management and estate work; wildlife monitoring, surveys and recording; scientific studies; welcome and advice to visitors plus staffing the shops; assisting with events and activities. Volunteering is core to the Trust’s management philosophy and the hundreds of people who contribute to the running of Rutland Water Nature Reserve derive enormous pleasure, satisfaction and fulfilment from what they do.

The new Volunteer Training Centre will provide support and training for the reserve’s 400-strong team of volunteers through an exciting and innovative range of learning opportunities. The project will deliver a comprehensive and inclusive programme of volunteer support, development and training and build and sustain skilled, experienced and motivated volunteer teams that will work alongside staff to manage Rutland Water Nature Reserve, as well as other nearby nature reserves, into the future.

The centre will also enable the reserve to reach out to new audiences through the provision of a wonderful range of learning and participation opportunities, thereby enabling more people to connect with and enjoy the wonderful natural heritage of Rutland Water Nature Reserve – including activities for schools, young people and students, special needs groups, older volunteers and a wide range of other participants.

“I’ve been fortunate to see the nature reserve develop into one of the best places for wildlife in the UK. It has been a privilege to share my skills with countless young volunteers who have gone on to careers in conservation. I hope the new centre will encourage more people to share their knowledge in the same way.”

David Cole


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