1. Introduction
  2. Volunteering – What’s Involved
  3. Work Experiecne or D of E (Short term Volunteering).
  4. Questions & Answers
  5. Application Process

1. Introduction

We are all volunteers, every aspect of running the charity from cleaning out the animals to fundraising, to animal rehabilitation, administration to maintaining our vehicles and equipment.

Volunteering is rewarding, yet can be quite demanding, we need people who are both reliable and dependable, who are willing to work hard outside in all weathers. In return you should enjoy your time with us, amongst friends and amazing animals.

We encourage an open-minded, friendly and welcoming environment, we have volunteers from all walks of life

As we have a huge variety of animal types, it is a unique opportunity to gain so much experience and learn. One day we might be clipping the nails of rabbits, the next bTB testing our cattle herd, and everything in between.

2. Volunteering – Whats Involved?

There are many tasks involved with running an animal rescue. Every day there are many cages to clean out and over a hundred animals to feed, water and check over, this includes wildlife, small pets, chickens as well as large farm animals.

We also have a lot of maintenance activities from repairing fences to keeping vehicles running.  On top of all this, we have to raise around £150,000 a year to make this all possible.

We also like to spend time with our animals to enrich their lives, assess their personalities to prepare them for re-homing and to tame them.

What does a typical day look like?

Times – We need volunteers to come fairly early, ideally 8am but no later than 9am. There are tasks later in the day, but much of the hard work getting animals ready in the morning would have needed to be complete.

Most of the critical tasks are from early morning and are completed by midday, we need volunteers who can arrive around 7- 8am and certainly no later than 9am.

Whilst some people prefer to help at weekends, others help in the week. Most help is required in the mornings when animals need to be fed and cleaned out, but there are other tasks later in the mornings in the week.

What Will I be doing?

Typical TimesTypical Activities
6am – 7am
(first light)
Poultry are let out. Pigs, horses, goats, sheep etc are fed.
6am – 8amWildlife hospital morning shift; Cages cleaned out and sterilised.Wildlife AssessedMedications.Some animals such as birds fed.
8am – 10amStables are cleaned out.Yard sweptHay feeders filled.  
10am – 12am  Clean / check / feed / water rabbits.Clean out aviaries, feed / water birds.Clean out poultry, feed / water birds.Fields poo picked.
Dusk  Poultry locked up.Wildlife evening shift – feeding / checking / medications.  

What are we looking for in a Volunteer?

Reliability – If volunteers fail to show up and let us down, this puts a lot of pressure on other volunteers, the animals still need to be cared for. We understand that sometimes there are good reasons why people can’t come when they said they would, but we do need people to do their best to show up when agreed, no matter what the temperature or weather.

Age – We have large and free ranging animals, we therefore cannot offer volunteer places at the sanctuary to persons under 16 other than in exceptional circumstances such as Work Experience which we can offer very limited places for, depending on the availability of supervision.  

Medical Fitness – The activaties are moderate, you’ll be moving animal bedding in wheel barrows, carrying bucks of feed etc. You don’t need to be super fit, you can take activaties at your own pace, its not a race. As long as your relativly mobile and fit, its an enjoyable way to help exersize.

We do not want people to put themselves at risk. If you have any concerns about your medical fitness to do physical work and be with with animals, we advise that you speak to your GP before volunteering.

If you would like to speak to a Trustee in private to discuss an medial issues, concerns or issues we need to be aware of, this can be arranged. We will do all that we can to accommodate you, without putting yourself or others at risk.

Supervision – As we are run solely by volunteers, we can only provide supervision during the induction process. If a volunteer requires on-going support and / or supervision such as from a guardian or carer, the person providing such support is required to also complete the same induction process and provide the ongoing support throughout any volunteering.

Experience – We are not specifically looking for people with experience of handling or caring for animals, but you do need to be comfortable around them, small, wild and very large. We need people who are not put off by hard, mucky work and who are enthusiastic and reliable.

Clothing You need to come dressed appropriately for the weather and the likely tasks, generally you will get dirty, so bring your scruffs, Wellington boots and waterproofs.

3. Work Experience and D of E

We can occasionally support short term volunteering but only by exception and when we have sufficient volunteers to provide supervision, all volunteers including short term need to complete our induction process before volunteering.

For short-term volunteeering;

  • Work Experience and short-term volunteering is for DofE or a requirement for school or an Animal Management course.  
  • An application needs to be submitted (see Application Process below).
  • The volunteer will need to attend an Induction prior to the start date which we hold once a month at weekends.
  • The minimum period of volunteering is 5 consecutive days following an induction.
  • Whilst we will do our very best to keep to any agreed dates, we may have to cancel or change agreed dates at short notice if we, for example, struggle to have sufficient volunteer supervisors.

4. Questions & Answers?

Q. What age do I need to be?

Other than Work Experience (by arrnangement ) the minimum age for volunteering is 16.

Q. Do you offer apprenticeships or paid work?

Everyone at the sanctuary is an unpaid volunteer, we do not employ any staff.

Q. Can I volunteer in the wildlife hospital?

Working with wildlife involves a lot of additional supervising and training, therefore we are only able to offer this opportunity to persons with wildlife rehabilitation experience or volunteers that have been with us for sometime and proved themselves to be reliable and regular.

Q. Do you offer free occomodation?

We do not provide occomodation for volenteers.

Q. Can I volunteer if I have a health condition?

Should you have any concerns regarding your ability, we recommend that you first seek medial advice. You can request to talk privately with a Trustee regarding any questions, concerns or limitations, we aim to accommodate, where we are not putting others animals at risk.

Q. Do you do 1 day Corporate Volunteering?

Unfortuntely its just not practical for us to have a group of volunteers for just a few hours or a day. We would though really apprechite it if you spent the time fundraising for us.

4. Application Process

We are currently closed to all new volunteers, please check again Fbruary 2024

How do I become a Volunteer?

The sanctuary is run by a hardcore of dedicated volunteers carrying out tasks throughout the day, every day. As the sanctuary has such a variety of different animals all having varying needs, volunteers need to have a level of experience gained over several weeks of volunteering, before they can be left unsupervised. As volunteers gain experience and gain our confidence, we reduce the supervision accordingly until they can help unsupervised. 

1 – If you meet the criteria please complete our online Volunteer Application form:

2 – Once an opportunity becomes available you’ll be invited to a new volunteers induction, these are generally held on Saturdays mornings.

3 – Following the induction, you’ll work closely with one of our experienced volunteer until you are ready to volunteer un-supervised.

If you have questions please feel free to email us with using the address above.