Stock Checker (livestock)

Manx Loaghtan sheep at Pegsdon Hills by Caroline Fitton

The Wildlife Trust in Bedfordshire currently has around 200 rare breed sheep (Hebridean and Manx Loaghtan) and 3 Red Poll cattle which are used to graze grassland nature reserves in order to increase the wild flowers and reduce the amount of scrub, and therefore improve the habitats for a wide range of species.

Contact details

For more information please contact:
Bedford Office on 01234 364213 or email

The welfare of our livestock is of paramount importance to us, and we are looking for committed volunteers to help us with the daily checking of the animals, to ensure that they are healthy and well-cared for.

When: Throughout the year, any day of the week

Commitment: Flexible, depending on time available

Duration: Ongoing (some sites may only have livestock for a few months each year)

Requirements: We are looking for volunteers to help us with the day-to-day care of our rare breed livestock, who help us to keep our nature reserves in the best possible condition.

We will be putting together a rota of stock checkers, so some form of regular commitment is required, but this can be flexible to fit with your circumstances. You will need to attend an initial training session with a member of the Wildlife Trust staff.

A certain degree of physical fitness is needed to access some of the reserves with grazing livestock – if you have concerns or questions, please contact us to discuss these further.

Qualities / Experience / Skills sought: Previous experience of livestock (sheep and cattle) would be ideal, but is not essential as full training will be provided. Volunteer stock checkers need to be willing to make a regular commitment, and to take responsibility for monitoring the livestock’s health and welfare, but Wildlife Trust staff will always be available to provide advice and support in case of emergency.

Benefits to you: The opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in conservation, in particular conservation grazing, habitat management and livestock management, as well specific training provided by Wildlife Trust staff. The chance to regularly visit some of the best wildlife habitats in the county, and to be involved in their maintenance and improvement.

Volunteer Information Form 2019