Author: CBMWC Officer

Recruiting Research Volunteers

Looking to gain valuable work experience? Or just want to get involved in our work?

Living Seas Research Volunteer positions have become available for the following volunteering periods-

  • Block A: 14th March – 8th May (8 weeks)
  • Block B: 9th May – 3rd July (8 weeks)

We ask that volunteers are able to commit for the entire block. Please let us know if you are able to volunteer for both Blocks A and B. We have other opportunities between 14th March and 31st October please contact us if you are interested.

Research Volunteers assist with a range of activities including land and boat based marine mammal surveys, data entry, running our visiting centre and educational events.

This is a great opportunity for you to gain field experience, contribute towards marine conservation, meet new people with similar interest and experience Wales’ amazing marine life.

Please see the Living Seas Research Volunteer page for more information about the role and details on how to apply.

Spaces are filling fast, apply as soon as possible to ensure your chance of getting a place.

Bottlenose dolphin, Cardigan Bay

Marine Monday,15th February

Drop into Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre between 11am-3pm on Monday 15th for some fun marine themed games and coastal crafts.

Create your own salt dough creatures, sea life masks and rock pool animals, play our marine games and learn about the marine food chain, the impacts of marine litter and how to ID Cardigan Bay’s dolphins, and much more.

Or walk round our visitor centre and learn about Cardigan Bay’s marine wildlife and visit our shop for something to take home.

No need to book just drop into our Visitors Centre.

Under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

This event if free of charge, recommended donation of £1 per craft.

What will you make? 

jellyfish crafts

Jellyfish crafts made by volunteers

Rachel Buckley Education Volunteer 8th July-1st November 2015, England

I recently completed a master’s degree in Wild Animal Biology and having previously enjoyed working with children as a teaching assistant I was keen pursue a career in environmental education. I joined the CBMWC in July as an Education and Awareness Volunteer hoping to gain essential practical experience and it was a very good decision, becoming a valuable and enjoyable few months.

Having moved from London to New Quay there was a definite change in lifestyle but when walking to the office on a beautiful morning looking out across Cardigan Bay, I quickly began to love this small town. It was extremely easy to settle in, with everyone at the centre being very welcoming and friendly so I soon felt as if I had always been a part of the team. It was great to work in an environment in which the volunteer’s work was greatly appreciated, as stated in every team meeting, creating a positive and enthusiastic atmosphere (often helped by Radio Ceredigion being played in the office!).

I worked closely with the Living Seas Awareness Officer, Natalie, developing and running a range of educational activities including “Seashore Safari” rock pool sessions and “Dolphin Detective” sessions. Every day was varied and I was lucky to gain valuable experience leading activities over the summer holidays and developing my marine wildlife knowledge. I also ran an education stall, interacting with the public and raising awareness of the centre’s work and the local wildlife. It is hard to pick only one memorable moment but there was one day when I spoke to a young boy, under 5 years old with his parents on the education stall, showing him some marine mammal skulls and crab shells, which he seemed really intrigued by. Later that day they approached me again because the boy wanted to show me a similar crab shell he found on the beach and gave it to me to keep. To see his enthusiasm for wildlife at such a young age was really rewarding and definitely made my day!

After the summer holidays,  I started to get involved with the other work at the centre, carrying out land and boat surveys, inputting and checking data and helping to run the visitor centre. This was great for getting marine research and monitoring experience, adding more skills to my CV! When watching dolphins leaping from the harbour wall, spotting harbour porpoises or watching seal pups from a boat, it was a privilege to be able to call it work.

I would definitely recommend this opportunity to anyone wanting to gain practical experience in environmental education and working for a marine wildlife charity. I am grateful to Natalie, Laura, Sarah, Steve and all the volunteers there this year that have helped create a very memorable experience for me, which has been significant in developing many skills relevant for a career in the conservation sector. I will miss New Quay (and the local pub quiz!) and being reluctant to leave I have already planned to come back for the Christmas meal

Rhi Nichol 23rd March – 28th August 2015, England

I had an amazing time at CBMWC over the summer.  I came to volunteer for one month but wound up staying almost six months! Honestly if not for heading off to university I would have tried to stay longer.

The work was tough, but extremely rewarding as you start to learn the dolphins’ fin markings and know their names and there is always plenty to do, from helping out in the visitor centre, to racing to catch up on boat data input, to doing your own personal project for your studies or just because you want to! I was able to use my skills in video making to produce short films about what we got up to during my stay (stay tuned!).

It can get pretty grim out there on the harbor wall but the fantastic people you get to live and work with will have a cup of tea brewing for you when you return! The volunteers are people you will hold on to as friends- I’ve been gone for only a couple of months and I’ve met up with two people and have plans to see at least four others over Christmas.

For anyone with a passion for marine biology and a will to work hard and meet great people I can’t recommend CBMWC highly enough. Even the location is wonderful (have fun at the watersports centre and eat far too much fish, chips and luxury ice cream while you’re there) New Quay is really beautiful and you’ll get views of wildlife you’d never expect to see.

Matt Allen 23rd March – 5th July 2015, Republic of Ireland

For my third year of college I was required to go on a work placement. Many of my class headed off to exotic places such as New Zealand and Greece but I had my heart set on a little village in Wales called New Quay.  Having done some research on Cardigan Bay beforehand I knew that it was an incredible diverse and rich location for marine life but after my time there I am truly astounded by the sheer quantity of marine life.

Having seen my first dolphin of the season on day one, Daily the common dolphin, my hopes were soaring for my five planned months with CBMWC. My hopes were not misled as with each passing week the sightings became more frequent and more breath-taking. One of my fondest memories during my time in New Quay was a four hour boat in which there was a pod of ten bottlenose dolphins swimming all around the Anna Lloyd with me sat on the roof whilst Sarah and Steve ran around taking photos of them.

All of the staff at CBMWC and the volunteers were absolutely incredible and became like family during my time there, even if I was the only guy, having all those sisters was brilliant. I miss it already and would love to go back and do another few months of volunteering and hopefully get involved in the photo I.D. taking place. Arriving back in college in September and catching up with all my class mates they were all incredibly jealous of my five months sat on the harbour wall of New Quay watching dolphins for hours on end. Even if they had travelled across the world and I had only hopped across the Irish Sea. The people of New Quay were amazing and I’ll never forget all the volunteers singing our hearts out to The Smiths, There is a Light that Never Goes Out with Sumo at the pub quiz every Thursday night. It is a must!

James Clarke 6th July – 1st November 2015, Northern Ireland

From my experience, volunteering with CBMWC is the best possible way to spend a summer (and the beginning of autumn).

I arrived into the CBMWC family from Northern Ireland with a little bit of knowledge of the area and the centre from childhood holidays, but overall didn’t know what to expect. I needn’t have worried, I was welcomed into the crew from the very first day. You can’t beat days sitting on the harbour wall in New Quay in the blazing sunshine, (it’s true, believe me), and watching a large group of dolphins leaping around you. Then there were days spent on boat trips and watching the dolphins, porpoises and seals, as well as all of the rest of the wildlife, research just doesn’t get much better than this!

Then after a hard day’s work I got to spend the evening with my new mates all of whom shared the same passion as me. I look back fondly on the movie nights we had in the volunteer houses as well as the nights we put our fingers on the beating pulse of New Quay and met the locals, immersing ourselves in the community. On days off I was never a fan of relaxation and opted mostly to explore the beautiful and buzzing Welsh coastline and countryside, my motto was: if I knew where I was, I wasn’t having a successful day off. From the lush valleys to the fresh, rolling rivers to the vibrant coastline, I got lost around them all!

So there you go; dolphins, socialising and an obvious lack of any sense of direction, my memories of my time in New Quay. The only regret I had from my time with CBMWC was that I didn’t stay for longer. Thanks CBMWC, thanks New Quay and thank you guys, it was a pleasure.

Winter Open Day

With Christmas fast approaching we will be opening our visitor centre for one day only on the 5th December from 10am to 1pm.

Drop in for some marine themed crafts, interactive games and to learn about Cardigan Bay’s marine life.

Pick some unique Christmas gifts such as –

  • Adopt A Dolphin
  • Boat Trip vouchers
  • Wildlife Trust Membership
  • Books, Jewellery and much more

For more information please call 01545 560224.

inside visitor centre

The Great New Quay Beach Clean

On Saturday 24th October 10am – 4pm our Living Seas Volunteers will be conducting an all day beach clean, covering New Quay’s three main beaches.

Since March 2015 our volunteers and helpful members of the public have picked up a total of 13,828 pieces of litter!! This includes 4,625 piece of plastic and 4,240 cigarette butts.

Want to help our dedicated volunteers? Drop into our visitor centre any time between 10am and 4pm to find out where our beach clean team is or just keep an eye out for them on the beach.

All equipment will be provided.

For more information please call 01545 560224 or email

beach clean

Joint Beach Clean with KWT

On Friday 18th September our Living Seas Volunteers will be teaming up with Keep Wales Tidy to conduct a beach clean on New Quay’s beaches from 1pm.

Since March 2015 our volunteers and helpful members of the public have picked up a total of 12,664 pieces of litter!! This includes 4,269 piece of plastic and 3,749 cigarette butts.

Any litter on our beaches can be swept out to sea and eaten by various marine animals including birds, turtles and dolphins which can cause them serious injury and is sometimes even fatal.

So join us on our beach clean and help to keep New Quay’s beaches clean and to protect our marine environment. Meeting at Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre at 1pm. All equipment will be provided.

beach clean

Local Volunteer Open Days

Do you live locally to New Quay? Would you like to get involved in our research, education and awareness-raising programmes? Or do you have a special skill such a graphic design or retail experience that would be beneficial to our work? Local volunteers who are available on a part time basis are welcome year round and greatly appreciated.

Whatever your age, experience or background we’re looking for anyone with passion and enthusiasm for protecting the sea and its inhabitants.

Volunteers can get involved in a range of activities from conducting land and boat based marine mammal surveys to running educational events or working in our visitor centre.

If you are interested in volunteering, Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre are hosting a Volunteer Open Days on 14th September 4pm-7pm and 28th September 4pm-7pm. Drop in and find out more about volunteering at CBMWC. Speak to our current volunteers and find out about their experiences here.

Tea and coffee will be provided.

For more information call 01545 560024 or email
Living Seas Volunteer Coordinator – Laura Evans

We look forward to meeting you!

Volunteer recruitment is part of the Discovering Living Seas Programme which is support by the Volunteering in Wales Fund via Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Seashore Challenge – 18th, 22nd & 26th August.

Come and take our seashore challenge anytime between 11-3. Learn how to ID some of Cardigan Bay’s marine species, and take our challenge to see how many you can get right. Make some of your own seashore creatures to take home with you.

This event is free of charge, suggested donation £2 per child.

Under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Please call 01545 560 224 or email for further information.