Volunteer based research projects have seen a huge increase in numbers over the past three decades. Moreover, it would seem that this growth is set to continue with new projects becoming available on a regular basis (Wearing 2001, Ellis 2003, Brown & Lehto 2005). These projects have been shown to recruit volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds in terms of age, education, knowledge and experience (Foster-Smith & Evans, 2003). The majority of the projects are conservation-orientated, during which volunteers conduct baseline surveys and monitor conditions in both marine and terrestrial environments (Raines et al. 1991, Spencer Davies & Brown, 1992).