Volunteer Warden Intern


Otmoor, Oxfordshire

Volunteer • Full or Part Time

www.rspb.org.uk gary.smith@rspb.org.uk 01865 351163 Gary Smith

Reference: 7422

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Thursday, 22nd March 2018   3 days left

Volunteer Warden Internship, Otmoor
Vacancy ID: 7422
Region: Midlands
Where: Otmoor
When: All year round
Commitment: 3 to 5 days depending on intern’s personal circumstances
Duration: 9 months minimum, 12 months maximum

Why we want you

Otmoor is a large, active reserve, which provides an ideal training ground for new, keen conservationists. We want you to help with the running and management of this exciting wetland site, a site that is teeming with wildlife, which is seen as a showcase for innovative habitat management and which has a great team of highly motivated staff and volunteers working here. Combined with the neighbouring SSSI, Otmoor represents the largest wetland complex in Central England and incorporates reedbed, wet grassland and miles of hedgerows. Covering 400ha, the Otmoor reserve requires a lot of work to maintain and continuously improve it, as such, working here gives a great opportunity to acquire a wide range of essential reserve management, people management and wildlife surveying skills.

As the Otmoor warden intern, you will be a key member of the reserve team and your role will involve;

  • Practical habitat management of wet grassland, reedbed, wildflower meadows and scrubby hedgerows, keeping them in prime condition for a wide range of wildlife.
  • Maintaining reserve infrastructure; including fences, paths, visitor facilities and sluices.
  • Managing the reserve workshop and maintaining the reserve tools, vehicles and machinery.
  • Taking part in and helping coordinate the regular volunteer work parties.
  • Assisting with biological surveys including breeding bird surveys and wetland bird surveys.
  • Assisting with and carrying out predator monitoring and control.
  • Assisting the warden with crucial health and safety work.
  • Helping with reserve events, including guided walks.
  • Assisting with implementation of the management plan on the reserve.

We want you to use this internship as an excellent opportunity to develop your own skills and knowledge, so you can use your time at Otmoor as the perfect start for a career in conservation.

What's in it for you

If you want a career in conservation then this internship can really help you on your way. It will give you great insight into how nature reserves function and help you to develop the management skills required. You'll gain valuable experience of managing wet grassland, reedbed and hedgerow habitats on an important wetland reserve and gain lots of experience in species identification and carrying out a range of surveys.

You'll also develop your people skills as you work within a team of dedicated staff and volunteers. As you supervise and lead volunteers, you will develop leadership, communication and delegation skills.

What's more, you will gain appropriate practical training and qualifications (e.g chainsaw, brushcutter, tractor operation and pesticide use; depending on seasonal needs) and working knowledge of the RSPB, the largest conservation organisation in Europe. We'll give you training and experience of using specialist computer software and opportunities to meet key RSPB staff. We'll also make sure we offer you relevant training opportunities and give you regular appraisals.

You'll also get:

  • A dedicated mentor who will monitor progress and help with personal development throughout the internship
  • Experience of working as part of the reserve management team.
  • Training on CV writing and interview techniques
  • Access to our internal vacancies during your internship
  • A reference on successful completion of your internship

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

The skills you need

We're looking for someone who has;

  • The ability to work cooperatively as part of a team
  • Previous voluntary experience and practical conservation experience
  • A full, clean driving licence (with some driving experience)
  • Enthusiasm for the role
  • The ability and willingness to carry out strenuous practical work on the reserve on a regular basis in all weathers
  • An interest in conservation and natural history, and basic bird identification skills
  • Commitment to the internship and the desire to pursue a career in conservation
  • Ability to maintain confidential information

The RSPB runs an inclusive volunteer internship scheme, so if you are looking for voluntary experience in the conservation sector we welcome your application.

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

You must:

  • be 18 years old or over
  • be able to commit to the duration of the internship
  • be IT literate
  • have achieved A-Levels or equivalent


For further information and an application pack, please contact Gary Smith. The deadline for applications is Thursday 22nd March and the interview date is scheduled for Thursday 29th March.

Please note that there is no accommodation being offered with this internship as it is a non-residential placement. We will reimburse travel expenses within a 25 mile radius of the reserve.

For more information and an application pack contact:

Gary Smith
RSPB Otmoor,
c/o Folly Farm,
Common Road,

Telephone: 01865 351163
Email: gary.smith@rspb.org.uk

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