Residential Volunteer Warden


RSPB Mersehead, Dumfries

Volunteer • Full Time 07920 543417 Lana Blakely

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

Why we want you 

Mersehead is a stunning example of wetland habitat restoration, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Solway Firth and surrounding hills. The reserve boasts a wide variety of habitats including wet grassland, reedbed, farmland, saltmarsh, sand dunes and intertidal sand and mudflats. It is an exciting time here on the reserve as we have recently acquired a further 79 hectares of land that will connect Mersehead to our existing land at Preston Merse, as well as an additional 31 hectares of saltmarsh. This will allow us to create bigger, better and more dynamic habitats for the special species we have here. We also hold the UK’s most north-westerly population of the rare Natterjack Toad, a European Protected Species.

We are looking for an enthusiastic residential volunteer to join our small, friendly team here at Mersehead to help with the delivery of our winter work programme. You will undertake a range of habitat and estate management tasks such as Natterjack Toad habitat improvement; assist with the surveying of wintering waders and wildfowl which includes the monitoring of an internationally important population of Svalbard Barnacle Geese, as well as regularly man our visitor centre.

What’s in it for you? 

You’ll get to live and work on the beautiful Solway coast where you’ll learn about all aspects of managing and running a nature reserve. You’ll work alongside staff and volunteers to gain a range of practical, survey and people engagement experience. From counting thousands of Svalbard Barnacle Geese, assisting with Natterjack Toad habitat management and repairing fences, to chatting with our visitors or surveying on our newly acquired land; no two days will be the same.

During your stay, you will be living in the heart of the reserve in our recently converted farmhouse. Expenses and training will be provided where appropriate. This is an excellent opportunity to make a genuine contribution to wildlife conservation whilst gaining a valuable insight into the workings of Europe’s largest nature conservation charity.

The skills you need 

You must be at least 18 years of age, preferably with a full, clean driving licence. Have a keen interest in wildlife, conservation and the environment with a willingness to learn. An organised, flexible approach, along with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude is essential. You will be comfortable working as part of a small team, as well as alone. There will be some weekend work but time will be given back in lieu. You’ll be happy to work outside in all weathers and have a practical aptitude that will allow you to get stuck into any number of tasks that come with managing a nature reserve. 

Your time

Minimum commitment: 5 days a week from mid August 2018 to end of March 2019.  Start date can be flexible.  


Please mention when responding to this ad.