Conservation internship – assessment of volunteer potential

Job title:              Wadhurst Park Summer Intern

Location:             Wadhurst Park, Wadhurst, East Sussex

Hours:                  40 hours per week

Contract type:     Temporary – for six weeks

Pay:                     £500 per week

Wadhurst Park ( is a 796 hectare (1,968 acre) private estate within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We follow best practice guidelines for low-intensity farming and semi-natural habitat restoration and conservation. We practice evidence-led conservation, analysing our survey data and feeding the results back into practical management. We review our work, both on local and landscape scales, aiming to create and maintain diverse, healthy and connected habitats.

We are looking for a summer intern to work with our estate management team. The role will focus on reviewing the volunteer potential at Wadhurst Park. 

Volunteers have the potential to help us achieve more with finite resources, and to engage youth and our local community on environmental issues. However, recruitment and management of volunteers also has the potential to consume a lot of time and may not always deliver a net benefit.   We want to assess how we can make efficient use of volunteers at Wadhurst Park.

The intern will:

  • Review our historic experience with volunteers, identifying positives and negatives.
  • Collect insight from similar local organisations that use volunteers.
  • Assess the types of work that could be carried out successfully by volunteers.
  • Assess potential sources of volunteers in the local community and further afield.
  • Identify challenges around health and safety, training, logistics (accommodation, facilities) and management.
  • Explore practices and strategies that might help us manage these challenges.
  • Prepare a report and presentation, summarising findings and making recommendations.

The intern will be primarily based at Wadhurst Park in East Sussex for six weeks during July and August 2020.  Accommodation will be provided (for time spent at Wadhurst Park), but the intern is responsible for their own food, telephone and utility bills. A valid UK driving licence is not essential but is desirable (the train station and village are 4 miles from the estate).  Staff come and go regularly on the estate and can give the intern a lift whenever practical.  However, the intern should aim to be self-sufficient in getting around.


We are looking for a second or third-year undergraduate with a strong academic background (on track to receive a 2:1 or higher), or a postgraduate up to master’s level and preferably from a social science / environmental management / conservation discipline.

Skills and experience

  • A demonstrable interest in environmental management / conservation / volunteer participation.
  • Knowledge and/or experience of social survey methods.
  • The ability to capture information from interviews and participatory observation, bringing this together with desk research.
  • Excellent research and writing skills.
  • The ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Good interpersonal skills.

We will require a clear presentation of your results at the end of the internship.

Application process:

Please submit a CV and a covering letter (each no more than two sides of A4) in an email titled Summer Internship 2020 to  Your expression of interest must reach us by midday on 9th April 2020.  Your covering letter should address the points under ‘skills and experience’, giving examples of how you meet our criteria. Please also confirm that you are available on the dates below.  Applicants must have the right to work in the UK.


Closing date for applications – 9th April 2020 

Interviews – week commencing 20th April 2020

Internship – 6 weeks between 13 July and 28 August, Wadhurst

Presentation (internship end) – 28 August 2020, London