Volunteer Groups



The West Berkshire Countryside Society


The Society exists to Promote the understanding, appreciation and conservation of the West Berkshire Countryside, we also learn, and get to have a lot of fun, while we do so.


When you join the Society, there is a £15 annual subscription. This entitles you to four copies of the ‘Upstream’ newsletter per annum. The newsletter helps us to keep in touch with all of the social and conservation activities that are going on throughout West Berkshire. Please go to the Join Us page to download our membership form.


We organise regular walks guided by a knowledgeable leader to look at different parts of the valleys.    


We organise talks on natural and local history to help you understand the natural and man-made heritage of this fascinating area. We hold social events where you can meet friendly and like-minded folk.

If you are new to the valleys or would like to increase your awareness of the area and make new friends – come and try out the next event!

West Berkshire Conservation Volunteers


We provide the practical work to help the group achieve its aims and we also support the conservation work of West Berkshire Council and the local Parish Councils.


We have a roving brief and work on projects anywhere in West Berkshire.  We plant and lay hedges, clear paths and build foot bridges, clear archaeological features and create glades and other habitats in historic woods. We provide tools and training and all tasks are lead by trained people.  We aim to have fun as well as gaining a sense of achievement in improving the countryside of West Berkshire. We expect no fixed commitment. Volunteers are of all ages and of both sexes.


You are welcome to come for as long or as short a time as you want and to do work that you feel happy with.  If you stay for half an hour – that’s fine. If you stay for four hours – that’s fine as well! Tasks are advertised on the 'Diary' page. We also put them in parish magazines throughout West Berkshire. If you would like to try your hand – just come along and join us.


The History of the Volunteers


Dick Greenaway has written the history of the Volunteers from their birth to early 2018 using his extensive archive material.


To read his article download the PDF HERE

Bucklebury Heathland Conservation Group


Bucklebury Common was once an area of extensive heathland with large areas of heather and gorse. It was the home of nightjars, woodlarks and reptiles. When grazing stopped in the 1920’s the Common became overgrown with silver birch and scots pine and the heather and wildlife declined

We were set up in 1992 to restore part of the Common to heathland and since then we have cleared and maintained about 60 acres in an area east of Upper Bucklebury and south of the Upper Bucklebury to Chapel Row road. As a result the nightjars and woodlarks have come back and we sometimes see an adder. The site is owned by the Bucklebury Estate and the conservation work is carried out with their kind permission. We meet on the second Saturday or Sunday of each month between October and March with occasional extra workdays to continue the battle to keep the area open and to expand it if possible.


If you are interested in helping, come on a nightjar evening to see and hear the nightjars, or visit the area in August and September to see the brilliant purple heather. Contact Tim Culley for details and more information on 01189 714830.




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