Onziebust, Egilsay and Rousay, Orkney
£23,966 - £26,808 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent


Reference: DEC20204400

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Sunday, 24th January 2021   6 days left

Location: Onziebust, Orkney
Salary: £23,966 - £26,808 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, Annual Leave

RSPB Scotland is a major landowner in Orkney. We manage a suite of nature reserves, conserving and enhancing a fantastic range of habitats from coastal cliffs, unique wetlands to rolling uplands, supporting a variety of priority species including seabirds, breeding waders, corncrakes and raptors. We are seeking a self-motivated individual, with the relevant bird monitoring and land management experience, to be part of the RSPB team on Orkney, delivering our conservation objectives for Onziebust, a 270ha reserve with wetland & grassland habitats with management focused on breeding waders, corncrake and great yellow bumblebee and Trumland, a 400ha upland reserve where we are focussed on removing encroaching invasive non-native vegetation and monitoring the key species including red-throated diver, hen harriers, and merlin on the site.

What’s the role about

You will be part of a small team delivering the work programme for our Onziebust & Trumland reserves within the wider Orkney team. Main tasks include co-ordination and delivery of the reserves land management objectives, bird monitoring key species annually in sometimes remote areas, ensuring high standards of health and safety, and associated record keeping. Our primary habitat management on Egilsay is delivered through our own livestock & machinery that are managed by the farm manager, with targets set within the management plan or in accordance to our existing agri-environment scheme. A wide range of machinery & equipment are required to be used for habitat management work.

The post is based on the island of Egilsay where the RSPB have invested significant resources in recent years, taking the farming operation in-house and managing the land with our own staff, livestock & machinery. Support in your role will be given by the Orkney Sites Manager and the Orkney team to achieve the ambitious plans for these reserves. You will need to be able to work long hours alone, or as part of a team, use your initiative to problem solve, be self-motivated, with excellent organisational and people skills. In particular, we are looking to fill this post with a person who has experience of a variety of land management, knowledge and developed skills in surveying wildlife. There is a requirement for occasional working outside normal work patterns, though seasonal.

Key activities include:

  • Take day to day responsibility for the implementation of the reserve management plans to ensure delivery of site conservation objectives and compliance obligations.
  • Production of the reserve management plans and annual reporting for both reserves.
  • Plan, undertake and oversee species and habitat survey and monitoring work to ensure delivery of the objectives.
  • Take responsibility for the safe and compliant management of reserve operations, and ensure the reserve is managed in accordance with best practice, with respect to health and safety, adequate control of risks, good environmental management and legal compliance of all work areas.
  • Supervise contractors to carry out work on site safely and legally to deliver the management plan targets or specific project work.
  • Maintaining visitor infrastructure and providing a small number of events on the reserves.
  • Manage medium and small projects using the RSPB’s Project Management Framework to achieve site objectives and delivery of management plan objectives.
  • Manage residential and non-residential volunteers and provide training courses.
  • Being the main point of contact for the reserve within the local community and to build/maintain good relationships on Egilsay and Rousay.

What we need from you?

As Warden, you will deliver our management plan objectives for each site alongside the existing reserves structure on Orkney. This role will suit an applicant with an interest in wildlife & land management, with proven bird monitoring skills, agricultural & livestock experience, good communication skills, enjoys working on own and with others as part of a team, and to cope with the physical demands of the role, for example remote working in a variety of habitats and weather conditions. The post is based out on Egilsay and an ability to live in a relatively isolated island where there is only a small community (incl. RSPB staff) and no facilities are conditions not suited for everyone. There is a limited nearly daily ferry service to the island from Tingwall, on mainland Orkney, it is just over an hour in travelling time each way. Shopping & leisure facilities are located on mainland Orkney with the centre being Kirkwall.

  • Relevant conservation (including grazing), ecological and land management experience.
  • Practical agricultural and livestock handling experience to enable you to assist with work on farm or delivering our current reserve agri-environment schemes
  • Experience of wetland management or upland farming and of living and working in remote areas and small communities.
  • A proven track record in a variety biological monitoring techniques.
  • Relevant knowledge of health and safety standards compliance requirements associated with agricultural and environmental legislation with particular reference to grazing livestock where relevant.
  • Good communication skills and computer literacy which includes record keeping and data management
  • Proven ability to work in a team and to build collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders including farmers, suppliers, neighbours, colleagues, contractors and regulators.
  • Experience of working with farmers, landowners and contractors.
  • Machinery operational experience on a variety of relevant equipment, and an ability to carry out tool and machinery maintenance is desirable.
  • Experience of managing and engaging with volunteers and supervising volunteer work parties.
  • Previous experience of community engagement and community liaison is desirable.
  • Be willing and able to thrive on a remote island reserve.

Closing date: 23:59, 24 January 2021

 To apply and for more information:

If you would like to find out more about this position and to apply, please click the "More information about this vacancy" link to be directed to our website where you can complete your application for this position.

When you make your application please ensure you include reference number DEC20204400 on all correspondence.

No agencies please.

Please mention environmentjob.co.uk when responding to this ad.