Living Seas Volunteers


Each year we recruit dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to volunteer with us and gain valuable experience whilst helping us to collect data on the marine wildlife of Cardigan Bay, run our visitor centre and inspire visitors and the public through community engagement activities.

What you will gain

Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales at CBMWC is a fantastic opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to marine conservation and meet new people who share your interests. You will learn about the species and habitats in Cardigan Bay, gain experience in field work, research methods, data processing, public awareness and education programmes. The data you collect will contribute to long running research studies on bottlenose dolphin site usage, abundance, photo-identification and acoustic studies. Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and to work for other conservation or Government organisations.

Overall purpose of the role:

Living Seas Volunteers will assist with the delivery of our Living Seas research and engagement objectives and are required for specific periods from 27th March 2017 to 30th October.     

Tasks include (but are not limited to):

  • Land-based surveys in conjunction with Ceredigion County Council (daily)
  • Boat-based surveys*
  • Manning our visitor centre, providing interpretation for visitors, selling merchandise and taking boat bookings
  • Community engagement inspiring the public through events and activities
  • Data entry and checking
  • Updating daily sightings information
  • Beach cleans
  • Maintenance and up-keep of our salt water aquarium
  • Assisting with up-keep and maintenance of CBMWC premises
  • There may also be the opportunity to assist with various projects e.g. acoustic analysis, writing articles for publication on social media and newsletters

* Boat trips are run by an external company who we collaborate with. They are weather dependent and volunteers take turns to join trips to act as onboard researcher. During times of bad weather, you will spend more time carrying out shore-based activities.

Important: In the past volunteers have worked up to 6-8 hours a day 6 days a week, to ensure surveys can be conducted during periods of good weather and volunteers gain the most out of the experience. Some training and activities may take place outside of normal office hours. Field work can involve long periods outdoors and in inclement weather, wet weather gear is provided. All volunteers are expected to contribute to all CBMWC activities, tasks and field work and to attend all training sessions provided.

Click here to read “A Day in the Life of a Living Seas Volunteer”

We are looking for volunteers with the following skills/qualities:

  • Fluency in English
  • Positive, reliable, responsible, conscientious and mature attitude
  • Ability to work and live closely with others as part of a small team
  • Strong work ethic with an ability to work unsupervised
  • Adaptable and patient (particularly as boat work is weather dependent)
  • Confident in dealing with the public both face to face and over the telephone
  • Interest and/or experience of working with the public
  • Research and surveying experience (not essential as training provided)
  • IT skills, including Microsoft Office
  • Interest and or/experience in salt water aquaria

Please note that enthusiasm for our work and the marine environment is as valued as experience, since full training is provided.

Student projects

We welcome undergraduate and postgraduate students who require field work support – including boat time and office space to conduct their research projects. Please note that we do not have a list of specific project ideas but if you have a project idea in mind, please contact us to discuss whether your ideas are feasible.

Volunteering Dates

Volunteer positions are available from 27th March until 30th October 2017. You must be able to volunteer for an entire block and priority will be given to those who can volunteer for more than one block.

2017 volunteering dates

  • Block A – 27th March – 24th April (4 weeks)
  • Block B – 24th April – 22nd May (4 weeks)
  • Block C – 22nd May – 10th July (7 weeks)
  • Block D – 10th July – 4th September (8 weeks)
  • Block E – 4th September – 30th October (8 weeks)

Volunteer fee

An administration fee of £45 will be required from all successful applicants.

Accommodation Arrangements

Shared accommodation in a comfortable and fully equipped house will be arranged for successful volunteers (where required) at a cost of £55 per week (includes bills) and a £50 refundable deposit. Deposits will be refunded if the accommodation is left in the same condition it was found in. Please be aware that volunteers share same sex bedrooms. Volunteers are responsible for their own food, travel and accommodation costs.

Due to payment arrangements with the house owners, accommodation costs are required in advance to cover the cost of each block so before applying please ensure that you can cover this and all other expenses.



Living Seas Volunteers conducting a land based survey


CBMWC volunteer