RSPB Volunteer

Montserrat Volunteer Conservation Programme

Nicknamed the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, Montserrat is home to lush green vegetation and sapphire blue waters. Stunning scenery houses a wealth of unique wildlife, with many fascinating species found nowhere else in the world. However, following a series of volcanic eruptions on the island which began in 1995, Montserrat’s tropical forests and coral reefs have come under increasing pressure and now work needs to be done to help preserve these extraordinary ecosystems for the future.

Coral Cay Conservation Montserrat Caribbean Volunteer Programme Expedition Marine Terrestrial Jungle Forest Reef Research Survey Community

Project Aims

Coral Cay Conservation Royal Society for the Protection of Birds RSPB Montserrat Caribbean Volunteer Programme Expedition Marine Terrestrial Forest Jungle Reef Community

Coral Cay Conservation is delivering an exciting “ridge to reef” project on Montserrat, working in partnership with the Government of Montserrat and the RSPB.  The project has a holistic approach, with scientific survey programmes to collect data from both tropical forests and coral reefs, accompanied by community education programmes and local capacity building.

Coral Cay Conservation Montserrat Caribbean Volunteer Programme Expedition Terrestrial Marine Jungle Forest Reef Bird Survey Watching

By supporting the development of sustainable management plans the project will ensure the long-term future of Montserrat’s natural resources. Providing training programmes for local stakeholders in essential conservation skills will develop in-county capacity to enact these plans and environmental education programmes will develop a sense of ownership and pride within local communities. The project also seeks to enhance capacity for eco-tourism on the island and to promote Montserrat as a destination for nature lovers.

Coral Cay Conservation Montserrat Caribbean Volunteer Programme Expedition Project Reef Marine Terrestrial Forest Jungle

Volunteers: How will you help?

Coral Cay Conservation Volunteer Expedition Programme Montserrat Caribbean Marine Terrestrial Forest Jungle Survey Research Lizard Reptile Amphibian

As a volunteer, you can choose to join either the marine or terrestrial project, or even take part in both. All volunteers get to be involved in survey work specific to their project, as well as having a chance to join our staff team in delivering community education programmes.


If you choose to join the project as a terrestrial volunteer you will learn all about Montserrat’s fascinating tropical forest environments and the many rare and endemic species that they are home to. You will trek into the lush vegetation each day (and sometimes at night!) to conduct a range of surveys including bird walks, reptile and amphibian transects, and invasive plant species monitoring. The data you collect will be used to inform the management of the Centre Hills, Montserrat’s largest remaining forested area.

Coral Cay Conservation Montserrat Caribbean Diving Expedition Marine Volunteer Programme Terrestrial Reef

Marine volunteers will assist with our on-going coral reef and seagrass surveys. You will receive all the training you need to become a fully competent PADI diver and to learn to identify the marine species that can be found in Montserrat’s waters. The data collected by marine volunteers will be the first comprehensive survey of Montserrat’s marine resources since the volcanic eruptions in the mid-1990s and will be used to help develop a Locally Managed Marine Area.

The Project Site

Coral Cay Conservation Montserrat Caribbean Expedition Volunteer Programme Marine Terrestrial Reef Forest Jungle Environmental Research Survey

Coral Cay's Montserrat Field Base is located at the "Taj Mahal" in Old Towne. Pre-volcano this spacious villa was frequented by celebrities recording at the nearby Air Studios. Guests included Mark Knopfler, Sting and Elton John.


The Taj overlooks the Belham river which is one of the best birding spots on the island. The site can accommodate 40 people and has classrooms and a dive training pool on-site. Accommodation is a mixture of double beds, twin rooms and dormitories. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Our marine programme’s boat is moored a short five minute walk away in Old Road Bay.

Costs and Dates









1 £315 N/A N/A
2 £630 £925 £825
3 £945 £1,310 £1,210
4 £1,260 £1,695 £1,595
5 £1,575 £1,970 £1,870
6 £1,775 £2,170 £2,070
7 £1,975 £2,370 £2,270
8 £2,175 £2,570 £2,470
9 £2,375 £2,770 £2,670
10 £2,575 £2,970 £2,870

Volunteers are welcome to stay for longer than 10 weeks, please contact us to discuss your options. RSPB members get a 10% discount on the above prices.

Expedition Code  Dive Trainee Qualified Diver Terrestrial
Mon 13/09 15-Aug-13 22-Aug-13 22-Aug-13
Mon 13/10 12-Sep-13 19-Sep-13 19-Sep-13
Mon 13/11 10-Oct-13 17-Oct-13 17-Oct-13
Mon 13/12 7-Nov-13 14-Nov-13 14-Nov-13
Christmas break - Closed between 18-Dec-13 and 30-Jan-14
Mon 14/01 N/A 30-Jan-14 30-Jan-14
Mon 14/02 20-Feb-14 27-Feb-14 27-Feb-14
Mon 14/03 20-Mar-14 27-Mar-14 27-Mar-14
Mon 14/04 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14 24-Apr-14
Mon 14/05 15-May-14 22-May-14 22-May-14
Mon 14/06 12-Jun-14 19-Jun-14 19-Jun-14
Mon 14/07 10-Jul-14 17-Jul-14 17-Jul-14
Mon 14/08 7-Aug-14 14-Aug-14 14-Aug-14
Mon 14/09 4-Sep-14 11-Sep-14 11-Sep-14
Mon 14/10 2-Oct-14 9-Oct-14 9-Oct-14
Mon 14/11 30-Oct-14 6-Nov-14 6-Nov-14
Mon 14/12 TBC TBC TBC

For more information and costs and dates for other locations visit our Costs and Dates page.

Coral Cay Conservation Montserrat Caribbean Volunteer Programme Expedition Conserve Reef Forest Jungle Marine Terrestrial Survey Research Environmental

Before booking please consider the following points:

1: Coral Cay’s Montserrat project site will be closed from mid-December until the end of January each year.

2: Dive trainees joining a Coral Cay expedition for a two week period may not complete their skills development programme and may not get the opportunity to carry out any marine surveys.