There are many ways in which you can help wildlife and people at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve, which depends greatly on the help and enthusiasm of volunteers. With two organisations working together to manage the volunteers, there are a range of ways to get in touch depending on how you would like to help.

Let us know what you’re interested in helping us with by downloading and filling out our Volunteer Opportunities Form, and handing it in to the Visitor Centre.

Read on for more detailed information on how you can help HDC and the Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve in their work.

Practical conservation

Ensuring that Paxton Pits continues to be attractive to wildlife is an ongoing task. The Management Plan outlines work that needs to be done, including coppicing trees and opening up scrub to diversify habitat, managing the islands for waders and terns, and laying hedges in the traditional way.

The HDC Rangers lead mid-week conservation work parties all year round. For more information and to find out if there are spaces for new volunteers, contact the Senior Ranger, Matt Hall, on 01480 406795 or e-mail

The Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve, supported by Aggregates Industries and Huntingdonshire District Council Countryside Services, organise work parties on Sundays and Thursdays from September to March, as well as with some summer Sundays. Contact us for more information:

You do not have to commit to attending every working party in the programme, you can just turn up when you are free, but before attending your first work party or if you require any further information, please do contact the relevant team, above, so we can check things over with you.

Helping at the Visitor Centre

If you’re a people-person, could you help at the Visitor Centre? We need people to welcome visitors, provide information, refreshments and a friendly chat. Helping visitors to enjoy their time on the Reserve is a satisfying experience and only takes a few hours of your time. We operate a rota to open the Visitors Centre every day of the year, except Christmas Day. HDC are currently looking for new Visitor Centre volunteers, especially those who are willing to work weekends.

To find out more, please call the Visitors’ Centre on 01480 406795 and leave a message, read our Volunteering Opportunities form or contact HDC’s Volunteer Coordinator Russell Taylor at 

Wildlife Records and Surveys

Whether you’re a casual or regular visitor to Paxton Pits, the wildlife which you see can add to our knowledge, especially if you tell us numbers and the locations of your records. Add them to the book in the Visitors’ Centre or email us at to have them added to the Latest Sightings blog. If you are specifically sighting birds, you can also email to let us know.

If you’re more keen and can comfortably identify wildlife, particularly plants and some of the less well known taxa, such as spiders or lichens, and could give some time to finding out more about the Reserve’s fauna, please email:

  • The Wetland Birds Survey (WeBS) is undertaken every month from September to March, on behalf of the British Trust for Ornithology.
  • The Paxton Breeding Bird Survey (PBBS) is a co-ordinated count of the birds which breed around the Pits complex. 
  • A botanical survey is being undertaken to monitor trends in some of the species for which the Nature Reserve is important. Volunteers are also mapping the presence of all plant species within the Pits complex. 
  • The Wildlife Monitoring Group undertake surveys of flora and fauna between Spring and Autumn.
  • Butterfly and dragonfly transect surveys take place once a month between late April and September.

We now upload our invertebrate and plant survey data to the national iRecord database. To explore our data, create a free iRecord account and search for Paxton Pits in the Activities menu.

If you are interested in joining any of the above mentioned groups or would like further information, please email:

Help us with our events, recruitment, promotion, publicity or fundraising

Our events programme brings many people to the Reserve, and these are run by a team of volunteers. Recruitment of members is vital to our future and promotion of the Friends is needed to encourage people to support us.

If you are interested in joining any of the above mentioned groups or would like further information, please email: