Volunteering in Parks

Covid-19TrainingVolunteering DatabasePark Group Pledge

See also: Volunteering in Parks on BCC website >>

Volunteering and Covid-19

Updated 18th May 2021

Volunteer led group activities can now take place in groups of up to 30 people but there is still a requirement for social distancing in accordance with the Council’s protocol, see below.

Trained group leaders should supervise and ensure 2m social distancing is maintained, alongside the normal H&S leader responsibilities, so group sizes may need to be smaller than 30 depending on the site and the activity.

Volunteering as an individual (or with one other), or as a household or support bubble is also permitted as it has been throughout the lockdown.

We all need to keep moving and get outdoors to keep ourselves well. Please be continually mindful of the need to keep at least 2m distance from anyone not in your household/support bubble.

Anyone supporting parks by volunteering must ensure their actions complement the site management plans (if in place) and adhere to Park Byelaws.

The individual volunteering protocol below is designed to support individuals (+1), household groups and/or support bubbles to undertake volunteering activities such as litter picking, weeding, pruning, and species monitoring/recording.

Group activities require a trained leader and must follow the group volunteering protocol in order to be covered by the Council’s insurance.

Individual Volunteering Protocol for Social Distancing

Group Volunteering Protocol for Social Distancing – from 29th March

Covid-19 Risk Assessment for Community Volunteering


Health and Safety Training

Face to face training sessions have now resumed.

Apply for Health & Safety Training >>

Courses Currently Available >>

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