You don’t need to jet off to the Amazon to get to grips with nature. We’ve found some brilliant ecology volunteering opportunities here in London, all within view of your nearest Pret A Manger.

London volunteers

Image via London.gov.uk

 The Capital Clean-Up is a project designed to bring communities together, run in collaboration with London’s two most powerful Ms: Mayor Boris Johnson and McDonalds. It comes as part of the Team London organisation – a foundation with a focus on local volunteering and the scheme that supported the Olympic 2012 Game Makers.

Join in their summer scheme and you can take control of your project and choose an area you think is most in need of a little TLC, or check out ProjectDirt.com for already-running projects you can get involved with.

One such project is Grow Wild, a community gardening and cooking project in New Cross. This exciting new idea is offering workshops in everything from urban foraging and preserving to identifying and controlling weeds. Promoting innovative ways to engage the local community in the idea of home-growing, they’re on the lookout for field kitchen assistants, produce pickers and garden maintenance volunteers.

London Gardening

Image via growwild.org.uk

 If you choose to gather together your own group, you can apply for your very own Clean-Up Kit. Simply decide whether you want to replant a local garden, re-paint a graffiti-covered wall or relieve the streets of litter, and send a form off to Capitalclean-up@london.gov.uk before Monday 21 July.

In the kit you’ll find litter pickers, rubbish bag hoops, heavy duty gloves, high-vis jackets and £50 in DIY vouchers to use on materials for your clean-up, whether you’re greening or cleaning. Everything you need to show your local area a little love!

And if you’re looking for a little more local wildlife than the city suits spotted in their natural habitat, you can get involved with the London Wildlife Trust.

The only charity dedicated to protecting the city’s wild spaces, they’ve just celebrated 30 years of eco excellence. They run over 40 nature reserves and campaign to raise awareness amongst Londoners of their local environment.

Amongst their many volunteer opportunities there’s the chance to get involved in Camley Street Natural Park’s summer events. Aiming to get the local community involved in and excited about their local wildlife, they’ll be hosting a series of family days and evening events, and are looking for helpers keen to look after the land, spread understanding of conservation practices and keep an eye on the many species of critters and creepy crawlies.

London Wildlife

Image via wildlifetrusts.org

And once you’re all green-fingered-out for the day, you and your fellow volunteers can enjoy the fruits of your labour by taking a group tour with Insider London. You can join the Cutting-Edge Green Tour, or get in touch to build your own custom itinerary.