Practical Reserve Management Placement

At WWT we create and conserve wetlands and save species. As one of the UK’s leading wetland conservation organisations we have a long history of managing wetland sites and species as well as conducting research into wetland wildlife. WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre is based in the heart of Dumfries & Galloway and is the winter home to 40,000+ Barnacle Geese and 300 Whooper Swans.

We are looking to recruit a full-time volunteer for a 12 month period who will help us to manage this very special area for nature, thereby supporting our work to save wetlands for wildlife and people. This is a great opportunity for someone looking for experience in practical conservation as a reserve warden or similar outdoor career. Accommodation is provided.

Who will be responsible for your role?     Reserve Manager

Where will you be based?

WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

How much time will it take?                   

 Full-time placement for 12 months, starting in August/September 2017.

What will you be doing?

Duties may include some or all of the following:

  • Assisting with all practical reserve management activities including grassland cutting, scrub control, pruning, coppicing and weed control
  • Assisting with the construction and maintenance of ponds, scrapes, ditches and reed beds
  • Assisting with the management of grazing livestock
  • Facilitating and undertaking water quality monitoring
  • Supporting with the construction and maintenance of access routes including the maintenance of fences, bridges and viewing hides.
  • Undertaking agreed training in order to operate machinery with proper regard to safety regulations, in accordance with WWT’s health & safety procedures
  • Using all tools safely and correctly and observing and applying health and safety regulations at all times, including daily risk assessments and machinery checks
  • Supporting research and monitoring activities which may include surveys for species such as breeding and wintering birds, Natterjack Toads, dragonflies and wetland plants
  • Contributing to the upkeep of the nature reserve’s databases
  • Assisting with the upkeep of visitor’s wildlife sightings, bird boards and website and sharing responsibility for wild bird feeding stations
  • Assisting with events for visitors and media related activities
  • Assisting with the daily running of the visitor Centre, facilities and admissions
  • Taking due care for the safety, welfare and enjoyment of the visiting public
  • If volunteering as a student placement you will be able to  carry out your own research project if  required by your university as part of your assessment, supported by the expertise of relevant WWT staff

 Who are we looking for?

Practical nature conservation is often physically demanding, can be repetitive and involves working outdoors in all weather conditions. We are looking for keen and enthusiastic people who love nature and support the work of WWT.

This role will suit you if you are:

  •  Practical and physically able
  •  Able to enjoy volunteering outside in all     weathers
  •  Interested in practical wildlife conservation with some previous experience of a similar role.
  •   Able to work in a team of staff and volunteers
  •  Proactive and able to carry out tasks with a minimum of supervision, or independently under the direction of the reserve team
  •  Able to follow instructions and manage time efficiently
  • Comfortable volunteering on a site with livestock
  • For student placements the ability to develop scientific ideas and design a suitable research project

The following would be desirable but not essential;

  • Certificates in the use of chainsaws and brushcutters
  • A clean driving licence and experience of tractor driving
  • Experience in managing small groups of volunteers
  • Bird identification skills are particularly useful as is the ability to identify other wildlife
  • Familiarity with entering data into databases

How will you benefit?

  • Accommodation including utility bills will be provided at Caerlaverock Wetland Centre.
  • This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the management of an important wetland site and to learn the skills and techniques used to manage a variety of different habitats for wildlife.
  • Volunteer in an amazing environment with a very friendly, sociable team.
  • If undertaking volunteering as a student placement, guidance for your personal research project is provided by friendly staff with significant experience in their field
  • Training, support and suitable uniform is provided
  • A discount is available in WWT cafés and shops

General notes:

This is a full-time opportunity which will, from time to time, require volunteering during some evenings, weekends and public holidays. This role is unpaid but accommodation (including utility bills) is provided. The exact hours you are able to contribute will be discussed prior to placement. There will be a training week for the successful candidate prior the commencement of their placement year at the Caerlaverock Wetland Centre.

We regret we are not in a position to reimburse expenses incurred in travelling to and from the site, but any pre-agreed expenses incurred in the course of your duties will be reimbursed.

This position is entirely voluntary and is therefore unpaid. Any offer of a volunteer opportunity is not intended to create a legally binding contract between us and any agreement may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of either party. Neither of us intends any employment relationship to be created either now or at any time in the future.

How to Apply:

Please go to our website by clicking ‘More Information’ below to see details of this role and then complete and submit the application form. Please email  if you have any problems with completing the application form.

 Closing Date: 

Please return all completed application forms by Monday 31st July 2017. After this date successful applicants will be asked to come to the Caerlaverock Wetland Centre for an informal interview Thursday 10th August 2017, to find out more about the role and discuss availability after which a suitable candidate will be offered the placement.

Contact Details:

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