Getting involved in your local Park or Green Space

Getting involved in your local park or green space

What types of volunteering you can do, the benefits of volunteering, how to volunteer to work in a park and park projects.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Parks group volunteering has resumed, with a maximum of 30 people per group outdoors.

Follow our Group Volunteering Protocol (pdf, 183KB) (opens new window) .

By volunteering to work in parks you can be involved in activities such as:

  • fundraising for park facilities and play equipment
  • wildlife conservation projects and surveys
  • landscaping work alongside our staff
  • horticulture projects, such as working in our rose gardens
  • picking up litter
  • holding fun days and events
  • giving guided walks and talks

How you can benefit from volunteering

It can help you:

  • gain new skills and experience to improve your employment prospects
  • meet new friends and be part of a community
  • improve your physical and mental wellbeing

How to volunteer

You can volunteer to work in one of Bristol’s parks by joining your existing local Friends of Park Group. You can use our Apply for volunteer work on our parks form if you want to work on one of our large parks.

Find a park group

Friends of Park Groups help improve parks and green spaces and create opportunities for members to learn new skills. 
There are Friends of Park Groups all around the city. Each has specific activities and regular meetings.

The Bristol Parks Forum has a list of the groups you can join with links to their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

Our Set up and run a Friends of Parks Group page has information about starting your own group and documents to help you run activities safely and successfully.

Volunteering on our estates

You can volunteer to work alongside our Rangers at some of our largest green spaces. They run a seasonal programme of volunteering throughout the year.

Ashton Court Estate

The Ashton Court Estate has 850 acres of woods and grasslands. It’s about 1.2 miles from the city centre.

Activities

Gardening Group with Tom and Charlie: learn how to maintain the historic rose garden, meet new friends and treat yourself to a coffee. 

10.30am to 12.30pm every Tuesday and Thursday.

Find out more and book your first session on the Can Do Bristol website.

Conservation Group with the Rangers: learn about maintaining Ashton Court and improve the Estate for people and wildlife.

10am to 12pm every Thursday, February to October.

Fill in the Volunteering work in large parks form below to know more about our activities and to register your interest.

Blaise Castle Estate

Blaise Castle Estate is a 650 acre parkland open to the public near Henbury, about 6 miles from the city centre.

Activities

Weekly Litter picks: no need to register, simple turn up at the car park and the Rangers will lend you a litter picking kit, map and bags.  

10am on Saturdays.

Make a difference during your visit by tidying up as you walk.

Estate management group with the Rangers: learn about maintaining and improving Blaise Estate. Rebuild steps, clear paths and help manage invasive species. 

Fortnightly Wednesdays during term time, 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Fill in the form below to register your interest. 

The Downs

The Downs consist of Clifton Down and Durdham Down and are a public open space on the edge of the city, about two miles from the centre.

Activities 

Check the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge site to see what is happening.

Stoke Park Estate

Stoke Park Estate is a 270 acre park open to the public.

Activities

Conservation and Estate Management Group with the Ranger: Learn how to manage Stoke Park and make improvements to the site for people and nature. 

Every 2 weeks on Thursdays 10am to 12.30pm and monthly on Saturdays 10am to 12.30pm.

Apply to be a volunteer in our parks

Fill in our form if you’d like to be a volunteer or if you want us to contact you when we have new activities.

Apply for volunteering work in our parks

We’ll aim to get back to you within 10 working days. 

Park projects

There are several volunteering in parks projects aimed at groups such as young people or the unemployed.

ParkWork

ParkWork offers training and skills development for people who need more experience to find permanent work in parks across the city.

Contact parkvolunteers@bristol.gov.uk with the email subject ‘ParkWork’ to find out where in the city they’ll be working each week.

One Tree Per Child

One Tree Per Child plants trees in schools, parks and open spaces. Volunteers can help plant or maintain trees throughout the year. 

Groundwork South 

Groundwork South works with Bristol’s Friends of Parks groups to get more young people aged 11 to 25 to engage with their local parks. They currently work with 12 friends of parks groups to provide:

  • training in tool use
  • education about conservation and horticulture
  • mentoring to build confidence and increase employment prospects