Skip to main content

More than Sweat Equity: Young People as Volunteers in Conservation Work

Leyshon, Michael, Leyshon, Catherine, Walker, Tim, Fish, Robert (2021) More than Sweat Equity: Young People as Volunteers in Conservation Work. Journal of Rural Studies, 81 . pp. 78-88. ISSN 0743-0167. (doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.08.025) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:83308)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 May 2022.

Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Clean copy Accepted Env Vol Paper. August 2020.pdf]
Official URL


This paper examines how young people come to be enrolled and engaged in programmes of unpaid environmental conservation in rural areas. Set within a theoretical debate regarding the nature of unpaid work and its relationship to voluntary and coercive forms of environmental action, the paper identifies four pathways and two types of recipient organisations through which young people become involved in efforts to protect and enhance rural landscapes and locales. Drawing on a combination of extended survey and in-depth qualitative research in the west and south of rural England, the paper considers the systems of governance that surround the organisation of these unpaid activities and shows how these are rationalised and designed as practical and embodied experiences of citizenship. The paper argues that enhancing participation rests less on how to foster more young participants into the conservation sector than how to structure these activities in more productive ways that go beyond simple ‘sweat equity’. The findings have implications for the training and organisation of volunteers in other sectors.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.08.025
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Robert Fish
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2020 14:39 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2021 09:57 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Fish, Robert:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year