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Association of Countryside Volunteers


Welcome to our brand new updated website, or indeed welcome back if you have been here before.  If you have been trying to access our site recently, please accept my sincere apologies as we have had a number of problems accessing and changing the information contained here, following the untimely death of one of our Vice Presidents, who was not only a very knowledgeable and active member of the committee, but also our “web master!” I guess there is a moral here; be sure that information to access a website needs is shared with someone else, it has taken quite a while to track down this information and be able to bring the site up to date.  The deaths of several other valued and key members have also caused the Association to spend time looking at our future – The Way Forward and how we can increase membership.  With this in mind, we would be delighted should you join us and become part of a UK based organisation of people with a common love of our wonderful and precious countryside, who are determined, more than ever during this time of financial constraint, to do what they can to improve and protect this countryside for future generations.


In the words of:


Brian Redhead, late President of the Council for National Parks 1986 – 1990

“Not ours, but ours to look after”




Rajendra K Pachauri, Nobel Peace Prize 2007 ~

“Be the change you want to see”


So the website is back and will hopefully be easy to access and regularly updated, but as we are keen to get back “on line” as soon as possible, there remain some changes still to make with the website, so please bear with us.  In particular, the “News” section will be updated very soon.


Also, we would love to hear from you with any countryside news that you might wish to share, or indeed any comments or suggestions for the website.


Roger Higgs, Vice Chairman ~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  











         President:                     Trevor Hardy (Northumberland NP


         Vice Presidents:            vacancy

                                               Brian Oram (English Nature)


        Chairman:                      Brian Oram


        Vice-Chairman:             Roger Higgs (ex Cotswolds AONB))


        Treasurer:                      Neville Anderson (Durham VCRS)

                                                     & Membership Enquiries




“The Association for everyone who works as a Countryside Volunteer in the U.K.”


The Association of Countryside Volunteers, ACV, (formerly The Association of Countryside Voluntary Wardens (ACVW)), is a U.K. based organisation founded at Grasmere in 1967.  The recent change of name came about to reflect the changing role of volunteers within the countryside, at a time when we are actively drawing up a gazetteer of countryside volunteers, raising the profile of the Association to hopefully increase membership and to give the Association greater influence in countryside matters.

The aim of the Association is to promote effective and enjoyable work by volunteers throughout the countryside.  The Association also aims to complement the work of the countryside volunteer’s own “service” by bringing together those of similar interests, enabling information and experience to be shared, and by co-operating with the Authorities in promoting high standards within countryside services. 

Throughout its history the Association has been keen to provide additional opportunities for individual members to enhance their enjoyment of volunteering by extending their knowledge and understanding. ACV has built up close links with organisations engaged in developing national training standards. The Association is regularly consulted by the Sector Skills Council for Land-Based Industries, LANTRA.  This meant that ACV has had a direct influence in the development of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ), such as the NVQ in Environmental Conservation.    

The Association influences policy in other ways, for instance as a constituent member of the Pennine Way Association and by supporting the work of the Campaign for National Parks. Over the years ACV has had contacts with the Countryside Management Association, which represents full-time staff, and is in regular contact with the Statutory Agencies, such as Natural England, regarding matters of interest to volunteers in the countryside. 

Full membership is open to any individual who volunteers in the countryside.  Both volunteers and part-time paid staff are eligible to join.  Associate membership is also available to those who wish to support the Association. Members have the benefit of discounts from various outlets around the United Kingdom.  For current membership rates, please refer to our website.

A Magazine and Newsletter are each published twice a year, containing news, information and views from around the country, with articles of interest from the U.K. and overseas.

An annual “Gathering” which includes the AGM and Annual Dinner is held in different parts of the U.K., on the first weekend in October, giving members an opportunity to find out about and explore different areas. 

An Association Committee, made up of representatives from different areas, meets at least three times a year, and discusses policies and actions of the Association and keeps up-to-date on matters of local and national concern.




“to promote effective and enjoyable work by volunteers throughout the countryside”