Practical Reserve Management Placement

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

WWT Martin Mere, Burscough, Lancashire

Volunteer • Full Time 01704 895181 Louise Clewley

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Sunday, 30th June 2019  

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. Our ten sites are located across the UK but all are exciting places to be throughout the year, providing refuges for many different plants and animals.

We are looking to recruit full-time volunteers for a 12 month period who will help us to manage our nature reserves and support our work to save wetlands for wildlife and people. These are great opportunities for people looking for experience in practical conservation as a reserve warden or similar outdoor career. Accommodation is provided.

Who will be responsible for your role? Reserve Manager

Where will you be based? Martin Mere

How much time will it take? Full-time volunteer position for 12 months, starting in August/September 2019

What will you be doing?

Duties may include some or all of the following:

  • Assisting with all practical reserve management activities including grassland cutting, scrub control, pruning, coppicing and weed control
  • Assisting with the construction and maintenance of ponds, scrapes, ditches and reed beds
  • Assisting with the management of our herd of 30 English Longhorn cattle with calves.
  • Facilitating and undertaking water quality monitoring
  • Supporting with the construction and maintenance of access routes including the maintenance of fences, bridges and viewing hides
  • Undertaking agreed training in order to operate machinery with proper regard to safety regulations, in accordance with WWT’s health & safety procedures
  • Using all tools safely and correctly and observing and applying health and safety regulations at all times, including daily risk assessments and machinery checks
  • Supporting research and monitoring activities which includes bird ringing and surveys for species such as breeding and wintering birds, water voles, dragonflies and wetland plants
  • Contributing to the upkeep of the nature reserve’s databases
  • Assisting with the upkeep of visitor’s wildlife sightings, bird boards and website and sharing responsibility for wild bird feeding stations
  • Engaging with the public through guide in the hide, commentated swan feeds and assisting on events like fluffy duckling week.
  • Assisting with the daily running of the visitor Centre, facilities and admissions. With opportunities to assist with other sections including education, canoe safari and the captive collection
  • Taking due care for the safety, welfare and enjoyment of the visiting public
  • 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?

Practical nature conservation is often physically demanding, can be repetitive and involves working outdoors in all weather conditions. We are looking for keen and enthusiastic people who love nature and support the work of WWT.

This role will suit you if you are:

  • Practical and physically able
  • Able to enjoy volunteering outside in all weathers
  • Interested in practical wildlife conservation with some previous experience of a similar role
  • Able to work in a team of staff and volunteers
  • Proactive and able to carry out tasks with a minimum of supervision, or independently under the direction of the reserve team
  • Able to follow instructions and manage time efficiently
  • Comfortable volunteering on a site with livestock
  • 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
  • Experience in managing small groups of volunteers
  • Bird identification skills are particularly useful as is the ability to identify other wildlife
  • Familiarity with entering data into databases

How will you benefit?

  • Accommodation including utility bills will be provided.
  • This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the management of important wetland sites and to learn the skills and techniques used to manage a variety of different habitats for wildlife
  • Volunteer in an amazing environment with a very friendly, sociable team
  • If undertaking volunteering as a student placement, guidance for your personal research project is provided by friendly staff with significant experience in their field
  • Training package is provided in the following: Use of brushcutters and strimmers, Sit inside ATV, 4x4, safe hand tool use, risk assessments, wildlife ID and survey, data handling and recording and customer service
  • Suitable WWT uniform is provided
  • A discount is available in WWT cafés and shops
  • Free entry to all WWT centres throughout the UK on presentation of your WWT name badge

For more information and to apply, please click the 'More information about this vacancy' link below.

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