The Community Science Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has volunteers at its very heart and provides an opportunity for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to learn new skills, have fun, get closer to nature and make a real difference to the future our iconic upland moorlands.
Volunteering for the Community Science Project
Jane Price, who lives within the Peak District, has been one of the volunteers on the Community Science Project, run through the Moors for the Future Partnership.
"I took early retirement from the NHS at 50 because I wanted to work in conservation. Volunteering is a brilliant way to get experience and to find out if conservation is for you.
"When volunteering with the Moors for the Future and the Community Science Project you actually learn new skills and take part in science - for an amateur scientist that is a great opportunity."
"You get an incredible sense of satisfaction from taking part and knowing that your work is contributing valuable information about the moorland habitat.
"It is something that gives you a buzz," said Jane who has been involved in surveying specific types of bumblebees. The training focused on identification and improving observation skills as well as working together in a team.
"It is great because you learn so much during the training and can then immediately put what you have learnt into practice."
By getting close to nature, and learning how to observe and identify the different species Jane has noticed that is has changed the way she sees the moors.
"It has helped me see the moors in a different way and be much more observant about my surroundings."
Data collected through the Community Science Project is shared with conservation organisations at local, regional and national levels and Jane has enjoyed being able to input and share her results on the national irecord website.
A recent award of £600,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable even more volunteers, of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, to get involved. For Jane meeting new people has been one of the highlights of volunteering.
"I have enjoyed meeting different people, from all walks of life, but who are like-minded as well at the same time. You are able to learn from everybody else's experience and knowledge.
"At the Moors for the Future volunteers are given support and encouragement and there is a warmth and friendliness you get from staff which is really important.
Jane said the variety of volunteering opportunities vary so people can get involved when they can and still feel part of the team.
Jane's volunteering experience, from the Community Science Project and volunteering with the research and monitoring team has seen her gain valuable experience and enabled her to take on a casual research and monitoring post.
"It is fantastic. I love going to work. It is brilliant to be part of something so important."