Volunteer Assistant Ranger – summer practical

Placement from 30 June – 09 Sept (10 weeks)

Please make sure you read the “Essential Information for all Long-term Handa Volunteers”, “Volunteer Code of Conduct” and “Safety for Volunteers” documents carefully.

We are looking for a committed volunteer to become part of a small, close-knit team, to assist with all aspects of day-to-day management of the island, with a particular focus on practical work.

Duties (with estimate of work time occupied as a %) note this can vary and is only a rough guide to the role.

Path maintenance (40%)

  • Constructing and repairing boardwalk;
  • Aggregate path maintenance, clearing vegetation and footpath drainage,
  • Carrying out regular inspections and recording findings.

Practical duties (20%)

  • Beach cleaning;
  • Firewood collection;
  • Maintaining the bothy and its water system;
  • Assisting with management of the composting toilet;
  • Sign maintenance and any other duties as and when they arise.

Landing visitors and providing information (30%- approx 2 days per week)

  • Assist with disembarking and embarking of ferry passengers using the portable jetty;
  • Invite visitors to Visitor Shelter and present a 5 minute welcome and safety talk.

Monitoring (10%)

  • Carry out some seabird, cetacean, plants and general biological recording (you are of course free to carry out more in your spare time if you’d like to);
  • Assist with rat monitoring on a monthly basis.

The Practical Assistant Ranger must have:

  •  A flexible attitude to working hours and communal living;
  • The ability to thrive in a communal environment, with minimal personal space;
  • Good practical experience and ability with a variety of hand tools;
  • Good level of health and fitness;
  • Self motivation and the ability to work independently and as part of a tight team;
  • Good communication skills;
  • A love of being outside- whatever the weather!

It would be good for the Practical Assistant Ranger to have:

  • Good all round wildlife knowledge;
  • Desire to pursue career in conservation;

Having your own transport is something you will find very useful, but this is not essential for the role.

Hours of work

35 hours per week spread over 5 days. Some early morning or late evening work may be required for which you will receive time off in lieu. Normal working hours will be 9am – 5pm.

Hours and days of work:

35 hours per week over 5 days (but not necessarily 9am-5pm) with some early morning or late evening work required for which you will be given time off in lieu. Days off will be taken dependent on weather and progress of fieldwork. You’re welcome to leave the island on your weekday off if you wish, providing you catch the last boat back and communicate with the Ranger and Boatmen. The boatmen provide one free return trip for every 2 weeks of your stay, so if you wish to go off more frequently than this, you will have to pay the concessionary fare of £10 each trip.

Responsible to:  Handa Ranger; and Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserves Manager.

Health and safety

It is crucial the successful candidate adheres to strict health and safety guidelines and lone worker procedures both when working and relaxing on the island. With extreme weather, difficult terrain and precipitous cliffs coupled with limited phone signal Handa is an extreme living and working environment which the Ranger is responsible for at all times. Failure to adhere to the Handa Code of Conduct will see the placement terminated.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust will provide:

Basic, bunkhouse-style accommodation is provided free of charge in the Handa Bothy. Limited assistance with travel expenses and subsistence (£20/week for food and up to £40 for travel on provision of receipts), full training necessary to carry out surveys & monitoring; all equipment and support throughout the season.

How to Apply

How to apply:

The placements on Handa are widely recognised as important field experience and provide the successful applicant with valuable experience and networking opportunities with the Trust, the RSPB and with several seabird researchers and academics. Many former volunteers have gone on to paid employment with the Trust and other organisations, and the majority are now employed fulltime within the conservation or academic sectors. As there are multiple placements being advertised, please indicate clearly which one(s) you are interested in, and indicate your first, second and third choices.

Send us the following:

  • Completed Handa Volunteering Application form. NB: make sure you specify which role(s) you’re applying for and order of preference;
  • CV tailored to the specific role(s) you’re applying for;
  • Covering letter stating why you want the post and why you think you’re suitable;
  • The full contact details of 2 referees and how they know you should also be included on a separate sheet.

By email to volunteerhanda@swt.org.uk or by post to Handa Volunteering, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Harbourside House, 110 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6NF.

Closing date for applications: 09:00 Monday 5th February 2018.

Incomplete applications or those that do not closely match the specified dates will not be considered.

Candidate selection

If shortlisted for the position, you will be invited to take part in an interview with the Handa Ranger and/or Reserve Manager. Depending on your location, this will be in person, via Skype, or by telephone. We aim to interview and appoint candidates by mid February 2018. We regret that due to limited resources, we are unable to contact unsuccessful candidates.  If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of the closing date for applications, please assume that you have been unsuccessful.  Good luck!

Please see https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/how-to-help/become-a-volunteer/volunteering-on-handa/


Please mention ConservationJobs.co.uk when applying for this job!

Key Information


Scottish Wildlife Trust




Full Time


Entry Level


Biodiversity, Communication, Nature & Wildlife


Handa Island, United Kingdom

Application Deadline:

8th April 2018 at 10:35am

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