Skip to content

Environmental volunteering

Come and join us in making a positive difference to your local park, and enjoy the benefits of the wide open spaces, fresh air and physical exercise.

Join us and get involved

Leicester Environmental Volunteers fulfil a vital role in keeping our parks and open spaces, waterways and streets clean and well maintained so that we can all enjoy them.

Our fully trained Environmental Rangers lead regular outdoor volunteering on land and water throughout Leicester, all year round, in all seasons and weathers.

Activities range from conservation and habitat enhancement, plus gardening and environmental improvements on Leicester’s parks and waterways.

Please see the range of activities we offer:

Conservation is needed to help to maintain the ecological diversity of our designated nature reserves.

This means ensuring that existing species of plants can thrive and also encouraging new rare species to inhabit an area. If this isn’t done, plants that grow at a faster pace can take over and dominate, pushing out less rigorous species and reducing biodiversity.

Leicester Environmental Volunteers (LEV) undertake seasonal conservation tasks; this includes meadow management in the summer and removing invasive species to balance the diversity of the meadow plants and flowers. In the winter we undertake coppicing and woodland thinning to prevent disease and using the harvested materials make habitat piles, bug hotels and dead hedges for overwintering insects and creatures.

Other tasks include:

  • Pond and ditch improvements
  • Pathway edging
  • Litter clearance
  • Meadow care and cutting
  • Hedge laying
  • Glade preservation
  • Tall herb removal
  • Tree planting
  • Bramble clearance
  • Lake island habitat and site preservation (involves a short boat ride)
  • Nesting site creation and improvements
  • Assisting with bank erosion repairs

Locations include Aylestone Meadows, Watermead Country Park, Castle Hill Country Park, Hamilton Park, Welford Road Cemetery and on Local Nature Reserves like Goss Meadows.

Whilst our ground maintenance teams regularly pick up litter, it gets dropped at a faster rate than we can collect. Often wildlife gets trapped in the waste or tries to eat it, making them unwell. Sometimes dumped waste contaminates our natural habitats and places wildlife in danger, as well as blocking our brooks and streams, placing our homes at a greater risk of flooding.

Tasks include:

  • Litter picking on land and water
  • Removing large times of waste, for example, shopping trollies and old push bikes
  • Unblocking brooks and streams
  • Removing fly tipping on our parks and waterways
  • Tidying up waterside walkways and tow paths

Locations include: our streets and city parks, on the River Soar and tributaries with the Green LifeBoat, Willow Brook and Riverbank Crew Projects.

We want to grow and cultivate plants to enhance the secluded gardens on our beautiful parks. We treat plants in such a way that they flourish, producing flowers and fruits for our enjoyment as well as sustenance for the wildlife. We use a range of traditional hand tools and occasionally power tools. Prior experience is not needed as full guidance will be given.

Tasks include:

  • Digging and forking borders
  • Hoeing and raking
  • Weeding beds and deadheading flowers
  • Planting new shrubs and edible crops
  • Bulb planting
  • Pruning and trimming established plants
  • Greenhouse propagation, potting on and new plant care
  • Taking cuttings and splitting herbaceous plants

Locations include Abbey Park, Spinney Hill Park, Knighton Park and many more!

Over time, many of our benches, fences, bridges, riverbanks and paths become worn away, rotten or broken. These sessions offer an opportunity to repair them but also to create new innovative ways of opening access to new areas of the parks or constructing bird boxes, bee posts and other habitat enhancements.

Prior construction knowledge and skills are not required, as we will guide you through every stage. We aim to harvest nearby materials and make things on site, where possible, to help the planet. Your efforts will be rewarded when you see others using the structures you have made.

Tasks include:

  • Riverbank repairs due to erosion
  • Building new steps or renovating old ones
  • Mending fences and railings
  • Making and installing benches
  • Making and installing bee posts and bird boxes

Locations include our parks, nature reserves and riverbanks in the city.

Are you interested in arranging a litter pick within your local area, park or green space? Find out more.

School, community groups, or organisations can borrow litter picking equipment for free, to clear up a park or open space. Find out more.

It is free to join our scheme and take part, both as an individual or a group. Training and protective gear is provided.

Please note that all applicants under the age of eighteen must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is also a LEV member.

More in this section

Donations and remembrance

We have a range of sponsorship opportunities in parks and also ways for you to commemorate a love one.

User groups and friends groups

If you want to make a difference to your local park, join a user group. Park user forums allows you to voice your ideas, your concerns and even participate.