Reserves Management HQ: Office & Research Placement

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

Slimbridge, Gloucestershire

Volunteer • Full Time 01453 891240 Sarah Hall

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Wednesday, 21st November 2018  

Why do we need you?

At WWT, we create and conserve wetlands and save species. As one of the UK’s leading wetland conservation organisations we have a long history of managing wetland sites and species as well as conducting research into wetland wildlife.

We are looking to recruit a full-time volunteer for a 12 month period who will be based at our Headquarters in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire and will help provide support in all of the work undertaken at our reserve management headquarters. This will include desk and field based research, project design and data analysis supporting us in our work to save wetlands for wildlife and people. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to develop a career in conservation. Accommodation for this role is provided locally.

Who will be responsible for your role? Head of Reserves Management

Where will you be based? WWT Headquarters, Slimbridge Wetland Centre

How much time will it take? This is a full-time placement for 12 months, starting in August/September 2019

What will you be doing?

Duties may include some or all of the following:

  • Assisting with the upkeep of a biological recording system (Recorder 6), providing support to new users and undertaking data entry
  • Assisting with the upgrading of nature reserve mapping using QGIS
  • Contributing to the upkeep of the reserve databases, in particular the Conservation Management System (CMS) database in order to help develop and monitor reserve management plans
  • Assisting with water quality monitoring
  • Assisting with research and monitoring activities, helping to design and carry out research projects to aid or inform reserves management
  • Participating in a range of research projects related to wetland species and conservation
  • Attending meetings and participating in workshops on current conservation issues
  • Giving talks on reserve related wildlife to visitors and staff on site or at other public venues and networking events with other likeminded organisations
  • Assisting with events for visitors and media related activities
  • If volunteering as a student placement you will be able to carry out your own research project if required by your university as part of your assessment, supported by the expertise of relevant WWT staff

Who are we looking for?

This is mainly an office based role that would suit someone who enjoys working with small enthusiastic teams and wants to learn about the co-ordination and strategic side of reserves management. We are looking for a keen and enthusiastic person who loves nature and supports the work of WWT.

This role will suit you if you are:

  • Computer literate with a good practical knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Experienced in both desk and office based research
  • Proactive and able to complete tasks with a minimum of supervision, or independently under the direction of the reserve management team
  • Able to follow instructions and manage time efficiently
  • Able to develop the required skills to assist other more senior staff in areas of work where those staff may not be so strong
  • Able to work in a team of staff and volunteers in both reserves management and other departments
  • Confident in engaging with a range of people in order to deliver talks and provide information to visitors
  • Able to participate in team and department meetings as appropriate
  • For student placements the ability to develop scientific ideas and design a suitable research project

The following would be desirable but not essential;

  • A clean driving licence
  • Past work/volunteering in nature conservation or for like-minded organisations
  • Good GIS skills
  • Experience with the public
  • The ability to manage small project teams and groups of volunteers
  • The ability, after training, to give talks as well as to answer the general enquiries of staff and volunteers

How will you benefit?

  • Accommodation including utility bills, will be provided locally (off-site)
  • Use of a shared pool car for transport to/from work is provided
  • This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the management of important wetland sites and to learn about the techniques used to manage a variety of different habitats for wildlife
  • Volunteer in an amazing environment with a very friendly, sociable team
  • You may have the opportunity to visit other WWT Wetland Centres across the UK
  • If undertaking volunteering as a student placement, guidance for your personal research project is provided by friendly staff with significant experience in their field
  • A training package relevant to the role and ongoing support is provided. This may include training on: use of GIS software (QGIS), biological recording systems (Recorder 6) and Conservation Management System (CMSi), research design, water quality and ecological monitoring
  • Suitable WWT uniform is provided
  • A discount is available in WWT café and shops
  • Free entry to all WWT centres throughout the UK on presentation of your WWT name badge

General Notes:

This is a full-time opportunity which will, from time to time, require volunteering during some evenings, weekends and public holidays. This role is unpaid but accommodation (including utility bills) is provided. The exact hours you are able to contribute will be discussed prior to placement. There will be a training week at the Headquarters in Slimbridge for the successful candidate prior the commencement of their placement year.

We regret we are not in a position to reimburse expenses incurred in travelling to and from the centre, but any pre-agreed expenses incurred in the course of your duties will be reimbursed.

This position is entirely voluntary and is therefore unpaid. Any offer of a volunteer opportunity is not intended to create a legally binding contract between us and any agreement may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of either party. Neither of us intends any employment relationship to be created either now or at any time in the future.

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