Recreation : Management : Voluntary management schemes : Examples

Examples of volunteer programmes

1.    Solway Firth Wardens

The Solway wardens exist as a backup network supporting the Solway Coast AONB. They consist of local people from a range of ages, skills and backgrounds, linked by a concern for the environment and the enthusiasm to mobilise this concern The Solway Rural Initiative co-ordinates and supports the wardens, providing tools, insurance and training. The different areas in which wardens can operate are:

  • conservation

  • survey and research

  • leading guided walks

  • educational work

  • patrolling the shore

  • practical estate work

  • administration and clerical support

It is important that wardens are well trained, knowledgeable and helpful. The development of similar volunteer programmes to help with these tasks in mSAC areas would be a valuable addition to any mSAC management scheme.


2.    The Sea Turtle Protection Society, Greece

The Sea Turtle Protection Society provides essential research on and protection for Loggerhead turtles which nest on breeding beaches in Greece. The society relies on volunteers from around the world to actively participate in the programme for a minimum of four weeks in the nesting and hatching season (May to October). Initially, adverts for volunteers were placed in conservation journals and magazines but following the success of the programme, word of mouth and adverts in the internal publication of the society have been sufficient to secure the 700 volunteers required each year.

The society rewards volunteers with on-site training in turtle monitoring and tagging techniques and provides them with the opportunity to observe the species at close quarters. In return, volunteers provide essential field research and actively participate in educational programmes targeted at local tourists and hoteliers. The programme has been running for a decade and has to date resulted in the compilation of valuable primary research and the designation of the main breeding area of Zaykinthos as a marine protected area.

This scheme of volunteer work is extremely effective for nature conservation purposes as it is cost effective and the society is provided with volunteers of different nationalities who can effectively communicate with tourists at the site.


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