Volunteers are at the heart of the BES and our success.

A hissing cockroach makes an appearance at a public event in 2019

There is no part of the Society or its work that doesn’t involve people giving their time, expertise and enthusiasm. We cannot do what we do without volunteers from the ecological community and beyond.

Opportunities to get involved

There are many ways in which you can get involved with the BES and its activities as a volunteer.

For example, volunteer opportunities include:

  • Session organisers, chairs and helpers at the Annual Meeting, our flagship scientific conference
  • Our Special Interest Groups and Networks – with their important representation of different parts of our community – are all volunteer run
  • Grant reviewers, summer school mentors and contributors to policy reports all do this work in their own time
  • Those serving on our committees and working groups are volunteers and plot the direction of the Society for the future.

The best way to find out about these opportunities is to sign up to our newsletter.

Volunteer stories

Three of our volunteers
Mateo, Kasia and Rhosanna

Hear from some of our volunteers about the diversity of contributions they make to the success of the Society.

Valuing volunteers

The BES benefits greatly from many people giving their time and commitment. We hope they benefit too from being part of a vibrant community of volunteers supporting the science we love.

The Society continues to develop and enhance how we value and support everyone who contributes their time.

There is more to do and we are working on:

  • Developing a clear, consistent and equitable approach to recognising voluntary contributions
  • Applying a consistent approach to evaluating and learning from the volunteer experience
  • Monitoring who volunteers with us so that they represent the diversity of our membership and society as a whole.

Volunteers’ Week 2022: Saying thank you

“Thank you to all our volunteers at the British Ecological Society,” said Yadvinder Malhi, President of the British Ecological Society, during Volunteers’ Week 2022. “We really would not be the Society we are without you. So for all that you do and the time you give: it’s appreciated.”

1–7 June is Volunteers’ Week in the UK when charities celebrate the achievements of volunteers. This week, and every week, we recognise that time is precious and there are ever increasing demands on it for all our members and non-members.

The BES is incredibly conscious of the immense privilege we have in working with you and the valued contributions you make to our day-to-day work.  For everyone who has given their time to supporting the ecological community in any capacity, thank you!

Our volunteer policy

The volunteer role is based on trust and mutual understanding. The growth of the Society is due to the efforts of our existing volunteers, and our shared success increases the opportunities for new volunteers.

Our volunteer policy is for anyone who is already, or is thinking about, volunteering their time and expertise.

Download the volunteer policy (pdf)