People planting a tree

Join the Community Network

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All around the UK, more people than ever before are getting together in community groups to improve their local environments. The Conservation Volunteers' Community Network already supports several thousand local groups.

Join them now to take advantage of competitively-priced insurance, discounts on training and merchandise, funding information, access to grants, training opportunities and much, much more!

We offer all you need to make your work safe, effective and enjoyable.

Whether you're experts or just thinking about getting involved in environmental activities and need to know where to start, we can give you a helping hand to turn your vision into reality.

How to join the Community Network

Annual Community Network membership is just £38. Joining is simple.

Download an application form

Membership benefits

Membership of the Network is open to all community groups, clubs, schools or local organisation wanting to work for a better environment.

Your annual membership (currently £38 per year) entitles you to the following:

  • Access to public liability and personal accident insurance, which is essential for groups carrying out practical tasks
  • A range of specially negotiated discounts from TCV's suppliers of tools, trees, seeds, equipment and clothing.
  • The Community Hub is an online resource, enabling groups to keep a membership database, record details of their work and the sites that they improve. It can be used to email members and produce reports to celebrate achievements. The Hub contains the Resource Bank which contains task report templates, publicity resources, plus health and safety information including the Zurich guides Making Insurance Simple and Simple Ways to Work Safely. To register for the Community Hub please email your Group name, Group ID, contact name and email address to the Community Network Administrator.
  • Subsidised places on our Training Courses. Training enables your group to meet new challenges. The Conservation Volunteers training programme covers practical, technical and leadership skills from pond management to First Aid
  • Optional free listing of your contact details and web address on The Conservation Volunteers website
  • Access to grants from The Chestnut Fund for groups with less than £2,000 existing funding that carry out practical conservation. The Chestnut Fund, an independent grant-giving body administered through The Conservation Volunteers, gives Start-up Grants to help with membership, administration costs and insurance in the first year of membership. Support Grants are available to cover the costs of training and tools for any groups
  • Website template - The Conservation Volunteers can provide guidance and support to set up your own web site. Ideal for groups without the expertise and who may benefit from being associated with The Conservation Volunteers online.
  • The Conservation Volunteers offers many ways to support you through training courses, support from our local offices, access to our very knowledgeable staff, discounts on our renowned practical conservation handbooks and access to the The Conservation Volunteers developed model constitution.

The Chestnut Fund - grants for conservation

The Chestnut Fund is an independent charity, making grants available to encourage and enable community groups to carry out conservation activities. The grants are administered by The Conservation Volunteers.

Download the Chestnut Fund application criteria

The grants fall into two categories:

Start-up grants

These are for groups who have no money when they are first set up and are available to groups in their first year of existence. The grant will enable them to begin practical work and will cover administrative expenses, e.g. postage, publicity, hire of meeting rooms, telephone bills and/or the first year of The Conservation Volunteers Community Network Membership plus Insurance fees. The maximum grant will be £150.

Support grants

These are for groups who have no money for tools, equipment and training. Preference will be given to resources selected from The Conservation Volunteers sources. This grant is available to all groups, regardless of how long they have been constituted. (Groups within their first year can apply for both the start-up grant and the support grant). The maximum grant will be £350.

Application Forms

Forms can be:

Please note that in order to apply, the group must return the form to their local TCV office for approval before it can be processed.

The Chestnut Fund committee meet every 6 weeks to discuss new applications.