Volunteer Warden Internship


RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire

Volunteer • Part Time

www.rspb.org.uk fergus.mosey@rspb.org.uk 01865351163 Fergus Mosey

Reference: 7422

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Friday, 24th May 2019   5 days left

What we're looking for

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 over 9 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 and estate management, people interaction 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 wardening team 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.

The skills you need

  • We're looking for someone who has: 
  • The ability to work cooperatively as part of a team 
  • 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 
  • A keen 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 
  • Previous voluntary experience and practical conservation experience is desirable but not essential 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 
  • Have a full driving license
  • Be able to commit to the duration of the internship 
  • Be IT literate
  • Have achieved A-Levels or equivalent

Your time

Max. 3 days a week depending on intern's personal circumstances. The working days can vary and can be discussed at the interviews.

Duration: 6 months

Period: All year round

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 gain and develop the management and practical 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, supervising and leading volunteers and 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, ATV, first aid 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 and application 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.

Read more on our website here.

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