Balsam Bashing Task Day Leader

Aliens are invading Yorkshire! Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are the second largest threat to global biodiversity (just below habitat loss) and all along Yorkshire’s waterways we can see the colonisation spreading year by year. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are on the front line, battling the tide of INNS such as Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed. To win, we need volunteers to help us.

This year we’re taking the fight to them with a team of volunteer INNS surveyors, balsam bashers and INNS treatment experts. This team of volunteers will tell us where INNS are and help to treat them where it’s needed most urgently. This will make all the difference to turning the tide on INNS across the county.

Balsam Basher Task Day Leaders will run community task days where Himalayan balsam will be removed from target areas along priority watercourses. These priority areas include the River Colne, River Holme, Clifton Beck, Mag Brook and Fenay Beck in West Yorkshire and Oldcoates Dyke in South Yorkshire, as well as various sites in East Yorkshire.

When you start this role you will be invited to a training session which will cover:

  • Biosecurity
  • What INNS are and why they are important
  • INNS ID (how to identify Himalayan Balsam, Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed)
  • How to run a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust task day (including H+S processes, risk assessments, lone volunteering)
  • How to lead people
  • What key messages should be shared on task days
  • How to remove Balsam safely

At or following the training you will be allocated sections of priority water catchment to run task days on. These are likely to be the places nearest your home where we need your help. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will agree dates for task days with you and will then advertise the task days to the local community and deal with all enquiries.

In this role you will need to be:

  • Reasonably fit especially on uneven ground safely
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Well organised as well as reliable and punctual
  • Able to identify key INNS (following training)
  • Understand basic biosecurity procedures (following training)
  • Interested in INNS
  • Able to work alone in isolated conditions and use own initiative
  • Self-motivated

From this role you will:

  • Help stop the spread of invasive non-native species which are damaging local biodiversity
  • Gain identification experience of plant species
  • Gain experience of leading groups
  • Gain experience of speaking in front of groups
  • Develop people engagement skills
  • Protect their local habitats for future generations
  • Be contributing to wider scientific study of INNS across the UK
  • Have access to specific INNS and biosecurity training as well as the wider Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Volunteer Training Programme which includes Task Day Leader and Event Day Leader training

How to Apply

Please email for more information about how to get involved.

Alternatively you can view the opporunity and download an application form here:

Please mention when applying for this job!

Key Information


Yorkshire Wildlife Trust


Fixed Term


Part Time


Entry Level, Graduate


Biodiversity, Ecology, Nature & Wildlife, Research


Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Application Deadline:

20th February 2019 at 9:00am