Volunteering in Parks

Covid-19TrainingVolunteering DatabasePark Group Pledge

Volunteering and Covid-19

Updated 8th July 2020

Volunteering in parks to carry out litterpicks, watering of trees, gardening type tasks or nature conservation work is now permitted in socially distanced groups of up to 6 people or by individuals or a maximum of two people from different households (or support bubbles).

Anyone from separate households or support bubbles must maintain 2m social distancing.

Update from Ella at Bristol Parks 8th July 2020:

  • You can now work with volunteers over the age of 70 and in the clinically vulnerable category
  • People in these groups must be able to work in a distinct area from others to ensure social distancing is maintained at all times
  • People in these groups must also not be responsible for handing out, collecting in or cleaning equipment for the group
  • We are still not able to allow people to volunteer in parks if they are in the clinically extremely vulnerable category
  • Volunteers must continue to confirm that they are not in the clinically extremely vulnerable group prior to volunteering
  • Social distancing of 2m is still in place for everyone and all other measures remain the same (max 6 people, avoid sharing tools, do not provide refreshments)

For working in groups, you must follow the protocols and risk assessments below (links to BCC website). This is in addition to the usual Health & Safety procedures. There is a separate protocol for individuals or two people working together.

Group leaders must have completed Bristol Parks Health & Safety training. You will need to submit updated Health & Safety Plans and risk assessments and get them approved before any group activities take place.

This guidance has been put together by Bristol Parks to support those who are able and wish to volunteer or run sessions. It does not imply any expectation for groups to do so.

To control numbers and ensure everyone’s safety sessions will need to have a system of prebooking; please do not publicly advertise the dates and times of sessions in advance.

Note the changes that took effect from 4th July did not change the guidance on group sizes being limited to SIX.

Individual Volunteering Protocol for Social Distancing

Group Volunteering Protocol for Social Distancing

Covid-19 Risk Assessment for Community Volunteering

Slides from Zoom meeting on Volunteering 10th/11th July 2020


Health and Safety Training

Note training is currently suspended due to Covid-19

Apply for Health & Safety Training >>

Courses Currently Available >>

Health & Safety Informationon BCC website >>

Many Park Group members want to improve their park by carrying out tasks such as adding planting schemes or cutting back bramble or scrub to improve sites for wildlife.

Bristol Parks encourages these efforts but needs to ensure that they are carried out safely both for those taking part and for other park users. Bristol Parks will provide training to groups and once this has been undertaken volunteers carrying out agreed tasks will be covered by Bristol City Council’s insurance.

The training means that volunteers leading guided walks have insurance cover.

Training is for 5 to 8 people on each course and Bristol Parks will put on courses as required (including for specific groups in their own areas). If you would like to attend a course please use the link at the top of this page.

The Health & Safety Pack and forms that you will use once you have add your training can be downloaded from the Council’s website here.


Volunteering Database

As part of Bristol Parks’ move toward being more volunteer positive and celebrating the efforts of volunteers, they have set up a volunteer database where groups and individuals can sign up to and record volunteer hours.

It is important that volunteering time spent working in parks is recorded, so that everyone can see the benefits that volunteers bring.

You can sign up here:

• Step 1 – Head to http://bttr.im/hkgin and fill in the application form

• Create an account with username (email address) and password

• Make sure you use the contact details you wish us to use when contacting you about volunteering

This will give you access to all the volunteer opportunities across Bristol Parks as they carefully relaunch after Covid, as well as giving you the flexibility to record any hours you put in outside of formal group sessions.

Download the Volunteering Database ‘How To’ Guide (pdf)


Group Pledge & Charter

Bristol City Council Parks Service recognises the positive value of ‘Park Groups’ to our parks and their users. This value is at its greatest when both parties are committed to a constructive, cooperative working relationship.

This pledge is to capture the positive intention of both parties and help ensure the management and development of parks & green spaces is supported by both parties in order to do the best for the local community. It is not intended as a legal document or contract.

Groups may wish to sign the ‘Pledge’ and may find it useful in that it gives a degree of official status and sets out what both they and Bristol parks Service can expect. There is no requirement for groups to sign.

Alongside the pledge there is a ‘Bristol Parks Volunteering Charter’ that sets out how the Parks Service works with volunteers.

Parks Group Pledge (Updated June 2020)

Bristol Parks Volunteering Charter (Updated June 2020)

Bristol City Council Volunteering Policy