Conservation Volunteering (on a budget!) Watch

Han-
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Just wondering if anyone has any advice or recommendations for conservation trips, internships, or experiences.

I am open to any location and any focus - although I am particularly interested in mammals (including marine).

The problem is I am on a budget and do not want to spend all of my savings! Most of the popular ones seem to be very overpriced whilst offering little help for the environment itself.

Obviously I understand the trip will cost money, but if any of you have any experience of student budget friendly trips or great places for free voluntary work, internships and the like, I would greatly appreciate hearing about it!

Thanks in advance
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AmeriCamp
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(Original post by Han-)
Just wondering if anyone has any advice or recommendations for conservation trips, internships, or experiences.

I am open to any location and any focus - although I am particularly interested in mammals (including marine).

The problem is I am on a budget and do not want to spend all of my savings! Most of the popular ones seem to be very overpriced whilst offering little help for the environment itself.

Obviously I understand the trip will cost money, but if any of you have any experience of student budget friendly trips or great places for free voluntary work, internships and the like, I would greatly appreciate hearing about it!

Thanks in advance
Happy New Year, this is a difficult one as it all comes down to budget.

We partner up with South Africa Volunteers, it might be of some use to you? x
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Joinedup
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What sort of budget and what do you hope to get out of it? are you interested in doing an ecology or related course at uni and want some relevant experience or just a more general eco-tourist trip somewhere exotic and sunny.

BTCV used to do residential conservation projects in the UK, some of which were quite high quality experiences involving data collection and analysis but they've re-branded to TCV and seem to have stopped doing that just in the last couple of years and just run 1 day tasks now afaict

http://eu.earthwatch.org/expeditions/expedition-search have some european and UK volunteering.

in the UK you could contact local wildlife trusts, local groups, university departments and see if they need any help with wildlife recording.
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smiffy613
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Hiii all!

I am in a very similar boat to yourself 'Han', and I agree that the expenses of almost every overseas program are very overpriced. I am still looking at all the options available and comparing them on various criteria; the main two being impact on environment and cost. The best one i found that taught a whole range of valuable skills was outrageously expensive (in the £5000 range without flights).

which ones have you been looking at and ill give you my opinion on them if ive researched them?

any advice from you too would be appreciated

cheers
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Pariah
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if you are a UK national and looking for a career in conservation/ecology then volunteering in the UK will be much more useful to you in the long term. it will also be cheaper. the rspb has residential volunteering at a number of reserves. depending on your interests/ability there may also be a number of surveys you could get involved in. you can then spend your money on extra training or a nice holiday.

most overseas programmes are for profit and part of what you pay goes to that. if you want to experience looking at charismatic megafauna somewhere exotic then fill your boots but, depending on your objectives, it is unlikely to be the best use of your time and budget.
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Han-
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Thanks everyone for your replies!

For reference I would like to study Zoology at university.

Giulia that sounds like a brilliant experience - I'll be sure to check it out thank you!

Pariah thank you for your advice, it seems very logical and something I will look into. I have done some volunteering in the UK, but could always do with more. RSPB does interest me, although there none close!
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Pariah
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(Original post by Han-)
Thanks everyone for your replies!

For reference I would like to study Zoology at university.

Giulia that sounds like a brilliant experience - I'll be sure to check it out thank you!

Pariah thank you for your advice, it seems very logical and something I will look into. I have done some volunteering in the UK, but could always do with more. RSPB does interest me, although there none close!
the rspb has a residential volunteering scheme so you stay on the reserve - it can be two weeks up to 6 months. there may be limitations if you are under 18 - so if you are younger it may be something for the future. you will find information on the website. it can be competitive, so work on your ID skills (which you should be doing anyway)
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Simes
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Unlike most job mailing lists, EnvironmentJob.co.uk has lists for volunteering (and courses too). I have found them useful this past couple of years for seeing what opportunities exist in conservation and other environment-related volunteering.
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Pariah
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the countryside jobs service online listings also includes some volunteer opportunities. but if you want a 'travel' type experience the rspb residential volunteering scheme is pretty good although, like I said, it can be quite competitive and is probably better suited to people with experience living away from home.
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