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Help & Volunteer

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. If you’d like to play a part, read on…

Practical conservation

Sailing Lake work party (Julian Hughes)

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 Ranger, Jim Stevenson, on 01480 406795 or e-mail

During the winter, Weekend Working Parties are organised by The Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve (FPPNR), supported by Bardon Aggregates and Huntingdonshire District Council Countryside Services.

From August 2018, The Friends will also organise monthly work parties on a Thursday, in order to keep on top of the huge amount of work required. They are actively recruiting help for these. Please email Trevor Coughlan to be added to the list

Voluntary wardening

If you’re a people-person, could you help to man the Visitors’ Centre? Volunteer Wardens 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. Volunteer Wardens operate a rota to open the Visitors' Centre every day of the year, except Christmas Day. We are currently looking for new Voluntary Wardens 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 brochure.


Large skippers (Ian Johnston)

If you can 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 contact the Ranger, Jim Stevenson, on 01480 406795 or e-mail
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. If you’re a keen wild plant enthusiast and would like to help, please contact the Visitors' Centre on 01480 406795 and leave a message.

The Wildlife Monitoring Group undertake surveys of flora and fauna between Spring and Autumn.

Wildlife records

Whether you’re a casual or regular visitor to the 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 add them to the blog at Latest Sightings.