Volunteer Warden Internship

Why we want you.

We are a small but perfectly formed team working on at one of the newer RSPB reserves. Middleton lakes is a reformed gravel quarry in the Tame Valley. We are developing a mosaic of wetland and woodland habitats for our key wildlife species.

The intern is a vital part of the wardening team, helping to implement our reserve management plan. This will involve:-

  • Learning on the job about practical habitat management of wetlands, woodlands and meadows.
  • Maintenance of the reserve infrastructure such as fences, paths and benches which all need regular upkeep.
  • Being responsible for the visitor standards of the reserve. Making sure the reserve is looking and functioning at it’s best for visitors.
  • Leading other volunteers on regular work party days and being responsible for the corporate work party programme.
  • Helping the warden manage the grazing and livestock on site which consists of longhorn cattle and konik ponies.
  • Biological surveys in the Spring/Summer including breeding bird surveys, dragonfly, butterfly, amphibian/reptile, flora, and monthly Webs bird counts in the Winter.
  • Keeping the reserve ticking over by completing the day to day jobs such as upkeep of the workshop/store areas, maintenance of the machines and tools, responding to problems and fixing them.
  • Supporting the warden with a variety of admin jobs including updating risk assessments, emergency action plans, COSHH and LERAP records, mapping and biological data recording, recording visitor numbers, logging volunteer work hours.
  • Working some weekend days meeting and greeting visitors from our reception trailer.

What’s in it for you

This is a fantastic opportunity to work at a constantly developing and growing nature reserve, delivering aims for the benefit of wildlife and people plus developing skills that could help you towards a career in conservation.

You will gain:-

  • An insight into how a nature reserve functions and how your work fits into the overall management.
  • Development of skills necessary for a job in nature conservation.
  • A good understanding of wetland and woodland ecology
  • Development of species identification
  • Development of working with others, leadership and communication skills
  • A mentor who you will work with you to aid a personal development plan and organise suitable training during the internship
  • Access to our internal intranet
  • An opportunity to make contacts within the RSPB
  • Necessary training will be provided for routine nature reserve management.
  • Training on CV writing, interview techniques and job applications
  • A reference on the successful completion of your internship

Our internships are designed to offer work experience. However doing an internship does not unfortunately guarantee future employment with the RSPB. Interns can apply for our paid vacancies but for obvious reasons an intern will need to have proven themselves in their current role before their volunteering experience will assist an application for a paid post

The skill’s talents you need

We are looking for an enthusiastic and friendly person who likes a challenge! Previous conservation volunteering experience isn’t essential but every day can be different on reserves like Middleton, so you will need to be flexible in your approach to your work. You must be happy to work outside in all weathers, doing what can be challenging physical work. There will be times when you are required to work by yourself through your own initiative. A willingness to work the occasional weekend and take time off in lieu is expected. A driving license is essential.

You must be able to get to and from Middleton Lakes for the duration of your internship as we cannot offer onsite accommodation.

RSPB runs an inclusive volunteer internship scheme, so whether you have just graduated, finished your A Levels and looking for voluntary experience in your gap year or you are looking for a change of career paths we welcome your application.

However, we do ask that you meet the following requirements:

You must:

  • be 18 years old or over
  • be available for 6 months or more
  • have achieved A-levels or equivalent
  • be IT literate

Who to contact

Katie Thorpe – please see below for email address & telephone number.


The deadline for applications is 31st May To find out more information and for an application pack, please contact us at the details below. Interviews will be the week beginning 5th June (exact day to be confirmed)

All the training necessary and background information will be provided and since you’ll be giving up your time, it’s only fair that we offer to re-imburse your travel expenses (up to 25 miles).

The RSPB is the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. By volunteering your time and skills, you could make a real difference to the work of the RSPB

Contact Details:

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