Residential Volunteer Warden


RSPB Mersehead Nature Reserve, Dumfries

Volunteer • Full Time 07920 543417 Lana Blakely

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

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 two enthusiastic residential volunteers to join our small, friendly team here at Mersehead to help with the delivery of our summer work programme. You will undertake a range of monitoring, habitat management and estate infrastructure tasks, as well as regularly man the visitor centre where you will enthuse the public through face to face engagement. Fencing, moth trapping, machinery maintenance, surveying breeding waders….these are just a few of the varied tasks you can expect to be involved in during your stay here.

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 carrying out butterfly and breeding wader surveys, assisting with livestock management and repairing fences, to chatting with our visitors; 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. A keen interest in wildlife, conservation and the environment with a willingness to learn, and 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

Duration: 6 months
Period: April - September


Mobile phone reception is patchy and there is no wifi in the accommodation; this will be a remote lifestyle during your stay so please ask any questions you might have beforehand to get a good idea of what it is like. The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing - help us keep it that way. Click here to join today

'The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

Please mention when responding to this ad.