Environmental monitoring and research

Our extensive research and monitoring programme is an essential part of the work we do and we welcome the assistance of volunteers who can help us with tasks such as vegetation monitoring, hydrology and water quality monitoring. Most of the year, we offer ad-hoc opportunities when we require assistance in the field on a weather dependent basis. We expect the field season to gain momentum when our annual vegetation monitoring surveys begin in late July and there are more regular days in the field during the autumn water table monitoring campaign, which can be one day per week in September through to December.

There are also opportunities to become part of a volunteer-led Community Science monitoring group who visit their adopted site on a monthly basis to download and record environmental information.


Environmental monitoring


• Mostly ad-hoc: some regular days dependent on season. Monitoring work at weekends is not usually undertaken and so volunteers should be available Monday-Friday.
• Full training provided, no prior experience is necessary.
• Own transport is essential for most projects.
• Our sites can involve a long walk and difficult terrain and so a reasonable level of fitness is required.
• Volunteers should have clothing appropriate for working outdoors and should expect to do full days out in the field.

This work takes place in the Peak District National Park and the South Pennines. Many of our sites are remote and please note that there is often no mobile phone reception at our sites. 

Skills gained: Our monitoring opportunities offer volunteers the chance to learn more about the moorland and blanket bog habitats of the Peak District National Park and South Pennines. Volunteers will acquire a range of skills while working alongside our experienced survey staff or volunteers, and in doing so, help us to gather data to evidence the multiple benefits of our work, as well as how our Community Science sites are responding to climate change. Transferable communication skills including; ability to work as part of team and awareness of outdoor health and safety, including basic navigation. Specific environmental monitoring knowledge and skills including moorland plant identification, downloading automatic data loggers and manual monitoring of water tables. Other transferable skills include following survey protocols including basic data management, communicating with fellow volunteers to ensure collection of a reliable long term dataset.