Lothians Conservation Volunteers

Community • East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian

LCV carries out practical nature conservation in the Lothians with a task force of volunteers.

  • Removing invasive Rhododendron.
  • Scything a meadow.
  • Lunch with a view.

Our story

Our charitable objectives are:
- To advance environmental protection and improvement in the Lothians and elsewhere for the benefit of the environment and the public by doing practical work to create and maintain nature reserves and other sites of biological, scientific or environmental importance.
- To advance the education of the public in the principles and practice of environmental conservation by providing volunteering opportunities and training in practical conservation skills.

LCV works for a variety of clients for the benefit of the wildlife, environment and people of Scotland. We do about 600-700 days of work each year, for about 12 clients across roughly 30 sites. Find out more about the type of work we do.

Our volunteers are of mixed age and gender. Many of us live in or around Edinburgh, with some travelling in from further afield. Our tasks are suitable for beginners and we provide all tools and training on site. LCV is also suitable for a range of commitment levels: volunteers can come on as many tasks as they like, or just sign up for the occasional task when they have time. Find out more about volunteering with LCV

The group is 100% run by volunteers. LCV is organised by a committee and volunteers are welcome to attend the monthly meetings and run for open committee positions. While tasks are overseen by LCV clients, they are led by volunteers. Volunteers who attend regularly can train to become task leaders.

Our advice

Our relationships with local community groups are really important for us as they are often the ones that book us to do conservation volunteering tasks. Without local community groups and local councils, we'd really struggle to be able to put on any conservation days for our members to participate in.
We recruit volunteers through word of mouth, our website and we have conservation volunteering ads on a number of sites such as Volunteer Edinburgh and Volunteer Scotland. We also place ads on local University volunteering pages.

We have a very flexible structure for our volunteers meaning that you are able to sign up for just one day if you'd like or you could be out every week with us. This seems to allow our volunteers the flexibility they need to come back if they are only able to come out every once in a while.

We have a task every week and usually will get between 8-12 volunteers per task. Our membership of volunteers is usually between 100-120 people (people drop off the membership after 1 year of not attending a task).

In terms of success, I think we mostly like to think of this as doing a good job for our clients and the local habitat. If the site is better when we leave than when we arrived then we're happy.

Our metrics

Size of area conserved and/or enhanced.
Number of volunteers and volunteer days.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Action Area


Positive Impacts

Thriving Wildlife

Response to climate crisis





Community, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

Laura Marsh

Updated Nov, 2023

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