Volunteer Community Wildlife Ranger (Full time)

National Trust

The Lizard, Cornwall

Volunteer • Full Time

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lizard catherine.lee@nationaltrust.org.uk 01326 291174 Catherine Lee

Reference: 2018

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, marine conservation

Closing date: Sunday, 4th February 2018  

Rangers take great care of wildlife and stunning landscapes, forever, for everyone. They love the countryside and being out in the fresh air, so they know what outdoor visitors need.

This volunteer ranger role provides a great opportunity to work with a dynamic team and develop new skills and experience in wildlife conservation. Through this role you’ll help inspire visitors at the wildlife watchpoint; coordinate wildlife sightings data; monitor Lizard choughs and help with other community projects. Working with volunteers and visitors means being warm, welcoming and informative while sharing your enthusiasm with a wide range of people.

‘I love being out in the fresh air, rain or shine! No moment is the same in nature, the light, the weather, the bird’s behaviour – it’s all so unique, breath taking! The best feeling of all is knowing that I’m helping the chough population re-establish in Cornwall.’

- Community Wildlife Ranger Volunteer 2015

‘We get tremendous satisfaction from sharing the wonder at Lizard Point with visitors from all over the world. I'm always amazed at how interested they are in all aspects of our wildlife.’ - John (watchpoint volunteer 2014)

Extensive ‘on the job’ training will be given. A good knowledge of natural history will be vital to this role and previous experience of working with other volunteers would be an advantage. Flexibility is essential as some weekend and bank holiday volunteering will be required. A driving licence will also be essential.

By getting involved, you could

  • Feel the wind in your hair in one of Cornwall’s unique places
  • Join a friendly and varied team and make new friends
  • Learn new wildlife ID, monitoring and survey skills and help look after protected species
  • Get fantastic views and gain a deeper understanding of the behaviour of Cornish choughs and Atlantic grey seals
  • Learn about the Lizard’s unique history, landscape, wildlife and its conservation
  • Share your knowledge and passion for conservation and inspire both locals and visitors
  • Get ‘on the job’ training with experienced rangers and (depending on work plans) access to more formal courses to further your career e.g. first aid, survey skills etc.

What's involved?

  • Collaborating with a team of volunteers to provide an exciting wildlife watchpoint experience and regular guided walks.
  • Collecting, collating and submitting wildlife sightings and disturbance data (training will be given).
  • Monitoring of breeding choughs and helping to prevent any unnecessary disturbance around their nest site.
  • Providing educational activities related to the watchpoint for families and visiting school groups.
  • Ensuring the projects you’re involved with are well represented on the National Trust website, related blogs and social media channels.
  • Occasionally helping with other community projects such as the beach rangers and Lizard wireless station museum.
  • Working outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Learning more about The Lizard Peninsula, its history, landscape, nature and archaeology.
  • Sharing what’s great about The Lizard with local people and visitors; inspiring them to help take care of special places.
  • Helping everyone feel welcome, while thinking about the needs of all visitors, including disabled people and families in your day to day tasks
  • You’ll help maintain good relationships with people who share the land
  • Get to know our health and safety and various property procedures
  • AND there might be some other activities that are of interest to you, that we could use your help with….

This role will suit you if you are...

  • Outdoorsy, whatever the weather’s doing
  • Keen to work with people and animals
  • Outgoing and enthusiastic about wildlife and conservation and enjoy sharing your enthusiasm with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Interested in collecting and managing data, to contribute to a national wildlife recording programme
  • Willing to get involved in other aspects of the Lizard National Trust’s conservation work.
  • Active, fit and healthy – you don’t need to be Bear Grylls but you’ll do a lot of walking, lifting and shifting and possibly cycling (on an electric bike)
  • Available to volunteer 28hrs a week (by negotiation) for a suggested period of 6-8 months from March – October. This role will include some volunteering on weekends.

Extra information

  • We’ll help you get to know Lizard Point, how you can help and how you will work with the rest of the team – with induction and training
  • We provide equipment to help you do this role well and safely
  • We’ll also cover agreed costs of your travel between home and Lizard Point
  • If you need accommodation while you are volunteering with us, you could apply for your own private room in a shared house owned by the National Trust. If taking a place in the shared accommodation, household running costs will be covered by the Trust but you will be expected to pay for your own food and personal items. You will share the accommodation with four other volunteers.
  • The house, based near the picturesque Carleon Cove on the east coast of the Peninsula (TR12 7LR), is a recently renovated farmhouse with woodfired central heating and solar water heating. There is a broadband internet connection at the house.
  • Many volunteer rangers come to us as recent graduates looking to gain practical experience to go with their qualifications. Others come to us as a route to a career change, or as a career break. Some fund their stay by working part-time, others live off savings, and some claim Job Seekers Allowance, but must prove they are actively looking for work to qualify. Many of our volunteers go on to secure employment in the conservation sector, including National Trust, RSPB, Natural England and the Wildlife Trusts.

The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall has some of the most dramatic coastline in the region. It is an extremely important and diverse area for wildlife, with cliffs and heathland designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest for their flora and fauna, including many rare species. The unspoilt coastal landscape, including iconic beaches such as Kynance Cove, draws hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. The National Trust manages many of the key visitor attractions locally, including over 10 miles of the South West Coast Path, Mullion Harbour, the cliffs that comprise the Most Southerly Point of the British Mainland, and the tranquil Helford River woods. The Lizard ranger team, along with many dedicated volunteers, are also responsible for car parks and other visitor facilities, safeguarding heritage - ranging from historical ruins to fishing cellars and Marconi’s wireless huts, and working in partnership with tenants to care for farmland. We also have a strong emphasis on events and education hosting a variety of local school groups and public events throughout the year. From April to September we also open the wildlife watchpoint daily, inspiring thousands of visitors with great sightings of Cornish choughs, various sea and coastal birds, dolphins, porpoise, Atlantic grey seals and more.

From Lizard Point, Britain’s Most Southerly Point, you can see a vast array of wildlife, including a pair of breeding choughs; red-billed and red-legged crows that were once extinct in Cornwall. Unfortunately, due to habitat loss, disturbance and persecution, choughs became extinct by 1973. To conservationists’ surprise, three wild choughs arrived here (in The Lizard) naturally in 2001; and choughs have bred here since. Although the number of choughs has been increasing steadily since 2001, the population is still fragile, so great effort goes into supporting the successful recolonisation of these magnificent birds. (The Cornwall Chough Project is a partnership project between National Trust, Natural England and RSPB. We work together to improve habitat, monitor and protect nests and to promote the choughs throughout Cornwall and beyond.)

Alongside the chough nest protection, from April to September we also open the wildlife watchpoint daily, inspiring thousands of visitors with great sightings of Cornish choughs, various sea and coastal birds, dolphins, porpoise, Atlantic grey seals and more.

Find out more

Contact Catherine Lee on 01326 291174 or email catherine.lee@nationaltrust.org.uk or visit our website 

N.B. Application is via CV and covering letter to catherine.lee@nationaltrust.org.uk by 11pm 4th February 2018 (Enquiries by: 29th January)

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