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The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers is a good place to start if you’re interested in a spot of active conservation.
There are branch offices for the BTCV all over the UK co-ordinating activities at a number of sites where practical work is making a real difference to local communities.
They run something called a Green Gym where volunteers are taught how to tackle jobs outdoors.
Working in the fresh air is a real good work-out opportunity. Just as if you were getting ready for a run, all sessions will start with a warm-up routine to reduce the risk of injuries and there’ll be guidance on what to wear and how to use the equipment needed to carry out the job in hand.
Everyone works at their own pace and there are plenty of breaks for refreshments. At the end of the session, there are cool-down routines.
There are tasks for all ages to get involved with. It’s not just for super-fit 20-year olds!
If you want to take things a stage further, there are active conservation holidays on offer, both in the Uk and abroad…you can work towards professional qualifications…and there are even career opportunities in the sector if you feel the need to make things full-time.
Keep a look-out for local appeals. Quite often, official or even ad-hoc groups will appeal for volunteers to turn out and tidy up a local beach, park or waterway. This can be part of a planned conservation programme, or simply because what was once a pleasant open-space has gradually become an eye-sore.
Putting in a day, or a week, or even a month of effort on these projects can be really beneficial to your fitness levels and your sense of satisfaction at a job well done.
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
Naturenet - independent conservation website