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.

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.

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 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 paxtonpits@huntingdonshire.gov.uk

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. The latest work party programme is available to download.

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 email: sundayworkparty@paxton-pits.org.uk

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. We 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, or read our Volunteering Opportunities form.

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 Ranger Jim to have them added to the Latest Sightings blog.

If you’re more keen and can comfortably identify wildlife, particularly 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 surveys@paxton-pits.org.uk

We’re particularly keen for someone to tell us about some of the invertebrates on the reserve, since only the butterflies and moths are currently monitored regularly.

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. 

If you are interested in joining any of the above mentioned groups or would like further information, please email:  surveys@paxton-pits.org.uk

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:  friends@paxton-pits.org.uk