Qualification for Full Membership

Membership of Natural Kirklees falls within three categories; “full”, “associate” and “individual”. Insurance is not available to associate or individual members. Details of how to become an associate or individual member can be found on our members page.
The insurance scheme provided by Natural Kirklees is primarily aimed at volunteer groups to enable them to work on Kirklees or other privately owned green spaces. There are also other types of group who can apply and will be covered providing they meet the full membership criteria.
For a group to be a full member it must

  1. One of the following
    • Friends of a Green Space situated within Kirklees (Natural Kirklees was formed as an umbrella organisation for Friends of Groups)
    • A Green Space Management Group e.g., a conservation group / orchard etc
    • A Village or Ward Community Group or Residents Association
    • An Activity Group – e.g., a walking group
    • A Wildlife Preservation Group
  2. Be active within Kirklees and if a Green Space site, either
    • Owned by Kirklees Council and working with their approval and permission
    • If not owned by Kirklees Council, the group must have the landowner’s permission and approval for all their activities AND the site must be freely accessible to all, with an environmental, biodiversity or educational theme.
  3. The group must be a voluntary organisation or a Not-for-Profit Organisation or a Registered Charity.
  4. The Group must have a constitution and have a nominated chair, secretary and treasurer.
  5. The group must be active and not established for a limited timescale.
  6. If relevant, the organisation must actively promote the betterment of the environment and biodiversity of the Green Space or area in which they operate.

When membership is approved by the trustees, the group will be allocated an activity category by the trustees as either a

  • a Friends Group – specifically set up to conserve, maintain and enhance a green space
  • a Community group – specifically set up to maintain a community area, usually a village or ward
  • an Activity group – set up to enhance the well being of public in general by organising activities outdoors such as walking, bicycle riding etc.
  • a Wildlife group – set up to protect and monitor specific species of wildlife e.g. badgers
  • an Enterprise – a registered not for profit organisation which if staffed purely by volunteers would fall into one of the above categories.

Public Liability Insurance

Natural Kirklees will liaise with the insurance brokers Griffiths and Armour to either renew the existing policies or obtain cover for newly applying groups which, if accepted, will cover the group until the following renewal date. The insurance is currently underwritten by Royal Sun Alliance. A sample policy may be obtained by emailing insurance@naturalkirklees.org

At present the public liability insurance is set at a maximum cover of £5,000,000 which is acceptable to Kirklees Council for all volunteer groups undertaking activities with their permission.

It is a condition of the insurance policy that for each and every activity undertaken, the group must ensure; and by implication of receiving the insurance policy confirm, that they will

  • carry out risk assessments for all planned activities
  • carry out a safety briefing for all participants on our events

The group must also confirm that their group is non-political and will be undertaking practical environmental activities.

General Activities Covered Under the Public Liability Policy

  1. Green Space or Community Management – the following is covered
  • Gardening and vegetation management (maintenance and improvement)
  • Bulb Planting
  • Removal of invasive species by hand pulling (e.g. Himalayan Balsam)
  • Path clearance and maintenance
  • Meadow and scrub management
  • Pond management
  • Coppicing, tree cutting and pollarding (tree felling – trunk diameter no more than 15cm – over 15cm requires planning permission)
  • Boardwalk maintenance
  • Dry Stone Walling
  • Litter Picking
  • Removal of larger items of rubbish from water courses (using grappling hooks)
  • Wildlife surveys
  • Building and installing bird/bat boxes
  • Painting tasks

 Specifically Permitted tools 

  • Hand held tools including powered tools, e.g. drills, strimmers, hedge (electric and petrol), bowsaws, and loppers BUT NOT CHAINSAWS nor BRUSH CUTTERS.
  • Rotavators and Flails
  • Sit on Mowers

Note – if children are assisting in any maintenance work they must be kept under close supervision by a parent or guardian at all times

 Specifically Permitted Areas which may otherwise be considered hazardous

  • River Banks, Ponds, Dams Walls including wading in water up to 1 meter deep
  • Foot Bridges, Goits and Sluice Gates
  • Working from small boats and canoes in water up to 1 meter deep
  • Railway Stations with the permission of National Rail and within their strict guidelines – NOT on or within 1 meter of THE RAILWAY TRACKS
  1. Activity or Wildlife based and Events – the following are covered
  • Guided Walks
  • Meetings
  • Children’s toys under the supervision of a parent or guardian (1 to 1 supervision other than a parent or guardian is NOT covered
  • Dog Walking either as owners or as part of a social welfare arrangement
  • Selling of produce grown and sold on the specific green space land
  • Meetings
  • Events e.g. galas. Parades, exhibitions, Christmas lights, selling of refreshments, arts and crafts, fayres, musical entertainment, quizzes.
    • (NB1 Christmas Lights must be installed by a suitably qualified professional and if left in situ, pat tested annually)
    • (NB2 Any stalls, entertainment or other facilities run by other than volunteers must have their own public liability insurance. Selling of alcohol is specifically excluded as are activities such as Bouncy Castles even if run by volunteers).
  • Fund Raising where all the profits are used for the objectives of the group


Basically anything that can be considered hazardous or not related to the betterment of the environment or improvement of the well being of the public.

Specifically excluded are

  • The use of adventure play equipment, BMX tracks, skate parks or similar activity.
  • Bike Riding
  • Felling trees over 15cm in diameter
  • The use of Chainsaws and Brush Cutters
  • The use of towers or other work over 5 meters in height
  • Demolition Work
  • Work on Viaducts, Harbours, Docks, On or Near Railtracks (see exception above).
  • Working with explosives or groundwork involving Diggers and other heavy machinery
  • In or over water greater than 1 meter in depth
  • Selling of own produce outside the specific green space unless for a specific fund raiser run by volunteers.
  • Any activity outside the boundaries of Kirklees Metropolitan Council.
  • Repair of damaged bicycles
  • Treatment of Wild or Domestic Animals (e.g. badgers)

Level of Cover;

  • Employers liability £10,000,000
  • Public liability £5,000,000
  • Personal accident – benefit provided
    • Accidental death £20,000
    • Accidental loss of one limb or eye £12,000
    • Permanent total disablement £20,000
    • Temporary total disablement Up to £50 / week
    • Temporary partial disablement 50% of normal salary

Covid 19
From 19th September 2020 the following exclusion applies to all policies – please be aware

The Policy does not cover loss, destruction or damage, or any costs or expenses of whatsoever nature directly or indirectly occasioned by, arising from, caused by, happening through or in consequence of, or otherwise attributable to:

  • Coronaviruses
  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19);
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2);
  • Any mutation of or variation of any of the above;
  • any infectious disease that is designated or treated as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation
  • Any fear or anticipation of any of the above

Insurance of Tools

As an additional service Natural Kirklees will also (while funding allows) pay for cover specifically for the loss of tools, if requested, on the condition that –

  • The tools are owned by the group
  • They are stored in a locked building or container
  • That the value of the tools does not exceed £5000

The insurers will ask if the  container has a 5 lever mortice deadlock or equipment fitted to all doors and if the premises are alarmed. If they are not, cover may be declined

The policy will cover the tools while in the locked building or container or while in use

The policy is not intended to cover tools owned by members, nor stored over several locations in members houses or gardens.

This aspect of the policy does not cover other items such as picnic tables, children’s toys, sports equipment – only tools. If you require cover  for these items it may be wise to obtain your own, separate policy.

If you wish to apply for full membership , are already a member and who wishes to take out insurance, or wishes to update your groups details please apply here.