Dundreggan Long-Term Volunteer

Dundreggan is Trees for Life’s flagship forest restoration project. Near Loch Ness in beautiful Glen Moriston, this 10,000 acre expanse of spectacular wild land was purchased by Trees for Life in 2008.

Dundreggan contains substantial areas of ancient woodlands, including remnants of the original Caledonian Forest, superb birch-juniper woodlands and the largest expanse of dwarf birch in Scotland. Our ambition is to develop Dundreggan into one of Scotland’s finest native woodlands, abundant in wildlife, and protected for generations to come. Placements are from one to three months running from March to the end of October.

What will I be doing?

As part of a team of volunteers you will work on a range of innovative conservation projects with a focus on native woodland establishment and regeneration. Work in our tree nursery will be a focus for Spring and Summer placements. Our pioneering nursery is achieving ground-breaking work on propagating aspen and rare montane scrub species, as well as other native trees. Volunteers in May and October will have a week based in the center of Glen Affric staying in the newly restored, remote and wild Athnamulloch Bothy.

Tree nursery:

  • Experimental propagation techniques, such as grafting aspen trees
  • Propagation of aspen from root cuttings
  • Propagation of trees from seeds and cuttings
  • Pricking out, potting up, lining out, watering and weeding
  • Maintaining accurate records of nursery activities

Other estate tasks:

  • Tree planting
  • Surveys and research
  • Fertilizing trees
  • Felling, brashing and ring barking non-native trees 
  • Strimming bracken
  • Maintenance of tools and equipment

There will also be opportunities to work on our other project sites outwith Dundreggan.

Where will I be accommodated?

Located at Dundreggan Estate, you will stay in Dundreggan Cottage. Accommodation is shared by our long-term volunteers and a staff member, and we ask that you are prepared to share a room with another volunteer. Accommodation consists of two twin rooms and a dorm room with bunkbeds, two bathrooms, a lounge with wood burning stove, a kitchen/dining area and a store/drying room.

Trees for Life will supply bed linen and a food allowance of £35 per volunteer per week.

Who will I work with?

We have 6 staff members based at Dundreggan and between 4 and 8 long-term volunteers at any one time. You will work as part of a team of LTVs, your day to day manager will be Tony Henry, Volunteer Supervisor, but you will meet and work with all of our staff based at Dundreggan and occasionally some of our other team members and Conservation Week and Day volunteers.

What skills/experience will I need?

You need to have a passion for forest conservation, and a positive approach to tackling environmental challenges, and wish to develop skills in horticulture and conservation. You will have a methodical work approach and have previous experience in working outdoors or study of ecology or an environmental subject. However no experience is necessary, as full training will be given.

Volunteers will need to be fit and hardy for more extreme terrain as there are long walks to planting sites, and will be required to work for 5 days each week and may be asked to work at weekends.

What clothing and equipment will I need?

Trees for Life supply you with task specific tools and equipment and personal protective equipment. You should bring a good pair of watertight walking boots and/or wellies, two pairs of warm work clothing, waterproof trousers and jacket.

What else do I need to know?

You will have the chance to learn a lot at Dundreggan, however you bring a range of skills and experience to the team too. Please let us know in your application of any specialist knowledge or skills that you can share. For example skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), species identification, animal or plant surveys, blogging and photography, can really support us and add value to your time at Dundreggan.

Join our waiting list...

Spaces for this programme have now been filled. To join our waiting list please download our application form, call 01309 691292 or email volunteer@treesforlife.org.uk for more information.

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