European Voluntary Service (EVS)

European Voluntary Service European Voluntary Service

Please note: volunteers for 2017 have already been selected and there are no placements available until 2018.

Over the past 12 or more years, we have welcomed in excess of 35 international volunteers through the European Voluntary Service (EVS) Programme.

This unique international volunteering programme is part of the European Union's Erasmus+ programme and is funded by the European Commission. It allows people from 18 to 30 to spend from two months up to one year overseas, taking part in various volunteering projects.

Placements in Ulster Wildlife are normally full-time for 12 months and start in spring and summer each year. Each year, we welcome EVS volunteers from all over Europe to help with practical conservation work on our nature reserves, communications and with landscape-scale projects.

The EVS programme makes a vital difference to our work for nature. Volunteers bring enthusiasm, commitment and a range of skills to the organisation and we would find it difficult to achieve all that we do without their dedication and hard work.

Every volunteer receives support from the European Commission which covers all costs from travel and accommodation to food and insurance, and also provides the volunteer with a small monthly allowance.

Find out more about the EVS programme.

For specific questions about EVS volunteering with Ulster Wildlife, contact Mary Hegarty from Bryson Charitable Group.

EVS Volunteers Case Studies

Emilie March 2016 – February 2017
EVS Communications Volunteer

My main role within the organisation is to help spread the word about our work for nature by promoting events and activities. I also get to dip my toe into other aspects of the charity’s work, such as helping with practical conservation tasks on our nature reserves across Northern Ireland, supporting membership promotion, and assisting staff at various community engagement events. Everything I do is very interesting and I love that I keep on learning new things!

When I arrived from France, I knew I would have to adapt to a new culture and work environment, but everyone was so welcoming and friendly that I felt at ease very rapidly. I enjoy the atmosphere of working in an open-plan office, and it is fantastic to be working with people who are so passionate about their work for wildlife.


Pauline March 2016 – February 2017
EVS Living Landscapes Volunteer

I applied for this EVS placement in order to gain practical experience after my degree in environmental sciences. I wanted to see how conservation work is carried out in Northern Ireland and to improve my English (especially regarding professional vocabulary). My role is mostly office-based since I do a lot of mapping on different projects (and other computer work), but it also involves a wide range of more occasional tasks (such as staining squirrel feeders, gathering seeds, job shadowing) and I get to work outside regularly to help with hands-on conservation work in the nature reserves or in wildflower meadows.

This year at Ulster Wildlife is interesting on so many levels and it is a very pleasant organisation to volunteer with. I’m really enjoying what I do; I keep learning new skills and increasing my knowledge, and this experience is surely going to be a huge help for my professional career. Plus, I get to go to all those beautiful places and landscapes across Northern Ireland!


Uula August 2016 – July 2017
EVS Practical Conservation Volunteer 

Hi! My name is Uula, and I’m from Finland. Before coming to Belfast I was studying Geography in Scotland, and for me, EVS is not only a way to help me figure out where to go next but a life-changing experience in itself.

I’m helping Ulster Wildlife manage its 18 nature reserves across Northern Ireland, which means I work mainly outdoors in nature. The tasks are physically quite hard, and being outside in all weathers and through winter can be challenging, but I love nature and hiking so the project is absolutely perfect. So far, it has exceeded all my expectations – it even rains a lot less than in Scotland! :D 

I chose EVS because I thought it is an amazing opportunity to learn something new, not just about other cultures and people, but also about yourself.