Volunteer with a Trust

We hope you found our website interesting and informative and now have a better idea of the breadth and extent of the work of RAFTS and fisheries trusts do in Scotland.  Now you know what we do, have you ever considered volunteering some time to help your local fishery trust?  You could make a real difference to your local river, biodiversity and fisheries.

There is a long history of volunteers playing important roles in fishery management across Scotland, often without realising how important their contributions and work are.  You could join that tradition, help your fishery trust and help your environment.

Why help us?

Scotland’s fishery trusts are registered charities and rely heavily on charitable donations, project grants and support generated locally and through RAFTS.  Volunteers can have an important role to play in helping trusts with many areas of their work.

Who can help us?

Volunteers come from all walks of life.  Whether you are young or old, an angler, amateur naturalist, conservationist or indeed interested in any way with the well-being of our native fish and their habitats, there is scope for you to get involved as there are a range of activities that might be available.  There may even be training available to help you to help us.

Where can you help?

We have trusts all across Scotland offering a range of opportunities to get involved and make a difference.  Not all trusts do the same things and many areas of their work is seasonal.  If you let us know you’re interested, give us an idea of where you’d like to help and what you’d like to get involved with we will put you in touch with the right trust for you.

What can you get from helping us?

Volunteering not only gives something valuable to the Trust.

Volunteers will gain:

  • an insight from working with biologists and fishery managers and learn about rivers, streams and lochs, field craft and technical skills specific to fishery management sector.  For example, this hands-on experience is invaluable for those who may wish to embark upon a career in fishery management;
  • enjoyment from working in a team and getting to know the local area more comprehensively – you are likely to visit places you haven’t been to;
  • If you are student, volunteering work can offer opportunities as part of their wider coursework, including a Masters/PhD project.

How can you help?

Projects for volunteers include:

  • Control and eradication of invasive non-native  plant species
  • Control and eradication of non-native mink
  • Helping with electro-fishing surveys
  • Helping with habitat surveys
  • River clean-ups
  • Habitat improvement
  • Easing of obstacles to fish migration
  • Helping with local school projects

Not all trusts do the same things and some may have other sorts of opportunities available. Get in touch with us and we can put you in touch with them.

Simon McKelvey, Director of the Cromarty Fisheries Trust said “In the Cromarty Firth region we have been working closely with volunteers for a number of years and several projects are very dependent on a volunteer input.  The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers has been a key partner and contractor in delivering INNS projects in the region.  They provide well equipped and supervised groups to carry out rhododendron, Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed clearance.

The Dingwall Environment Group works with the Cromarty Firth Fishery Trust and Moray Firth Sea Trout Project to deliver a catchment scale restoration scheme on the River Peffery which runs through Dingwall.

Anglers and ghillies are involved as volunteers in a Riverfly Partnership Anglers Monitoring Initiative.  Working with SEPA and the Cromarty Trust they are helping to monitor water quality in our rivers.

Volunteer ghillies and members of local environment groups are essential to the RAFTS Scottish Mink Initiative Project.  They monitor mink rafts and traps in a project coordinated by the Cromarty Trust and RAFTS.

Volunteer anglers contribute angling data and scales to the Moray Firth Sea Trout Project.”

What to do next if you wish to help us:

Anyone who wishes to volunteer some time with one of our trusts should contact RAFTS here. We will then contact the local trust you wish to help and place them in contact with you to discuss further how you can help.

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