Wildlife Trainee (Conservation) x2 West Berkshire

Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)

Thatcham, Berkshire

Volunteer • Part Time

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Monday, 28th June 2021  


Wildlife Trainee (Conservation) in West Berkshire

We are recruiting for 2 Wildlife Trainee’s looking to gain experience in the environmental sector and make an enduring contribution to BBOWT’s work in providing a better future for wildlife.

The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust is a membership-based voluntary organisation, managing 90 nature reserves, influencing land management, and educating and encouraging all sectors of the community to care for local wildlife. The Wildlife Trainee position would suit someone wishing to work in the environmental sector but who lacks the experience to secure their first job.

We are looking to recruit two Wildlife Trainees (WT) to join the Berkshire Land Management Team based at Estovers, Greenham Common, near Newbury. The successful applicant will be involved in managing a suite of sites including extensive areas of heathland, ancient woodland, lakes and reedbeds and a variety of grasslands across the whole of Berkshire, but predominantly in the west of the county. These reserves include Greenham and Crookham Common, Snelsmore Common and Thatcham Reedbeds. The area also includes the West Berkshire Living Landscape.

The WT position is a 12 month voluntary role, based over 3 days each week, Tuesday to Thursday. The largest part of the time will involve practical, outside, physical tasks on nature reserves to help restore and improve habitats for wildlife and maintaining the infrastructure like gates, signs and fencing. The management of these reserves is strongly supported by volunteers, including a weekly volunteer team which the Trainees would lead. Trainees would also help to look after the herd of Exmoor and New Forest ponies as well as occasional assistance with cattle and sheep movements. There would also be an opportunity to assist with some species and habitat surveys or get involved in the preparation and delivery of occasional community events, corporate tasks and environmental education projects.

The day-to-day learning experience will enable Trainees to become familiar with a wide variety of skills in land management including use of hand tools, power tools, powered machinery and off road vehicles, as well as learning the practical management and conservation rationale from BBOWT staff. Trainees will also receive a substantial amount of internal training, covering habitat management, species identification, surveying, community engagement, brushcutter use and interview training among many others. There is also external accreditation offered, including First Aid at Work and the NPTC Chainsaw for felling small trees. The Trainees are able to claim travel expenses each month from their home to Estovers or other BBOWT sites up to a maximum cap. The role would also introduce the trainee to a variety of related opportunities that could be explored outside of the 3 days.

The role would suit anyone at the beginning of a career in conservation or the environmental sector. In past years Trainees from Berkshire have taken positions including an Assistant Land Management Officer at a Local Wildlife Trust and a warden at a Council country park. The job positions have also included a Countryside Ranger, a Warden, Seasonal Wardens, Estate Management Assistant on a private estate, practical work with a conservation contractor and commencement of a Masters Degree.

Applicants foremost should have a real interest and desire to work in UK wildlife conservation and be keen to learn a variety of new skills. They will need a good level of physical fitness and be willing to supervise volunteers. They should be happy to engage with a range of people and have some previous experience of practical conservation or similar. A valid UK driving licence is essential. Please see the Volunteer Role Description for a full list of essential and desirable criteria.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a small, friendly team including other Wildlife Trainees and a dedicated band of volunteers, to help preserve the rich landscape in Berkshire. You’ll build a solid foundation as you develop a wide variety of skills, meet people involved in many aspects of conservation within BBOWT and outside the organisation. It’s a chance to enjoy and experience some beautiful nature reserves throughout the seasons and to see some of the wildlife that lives here.

Hours: A commitment of 3 days per week for 12 months is essential. Days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9am to 5pm.

Closing date: Monday 28th June 2021 at 9am

Interviews: Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th July 2021, to be held at Estovers, Greenham and Crookham Common, Burys Bank Road, Greenham. Berkshire RG19 8BZ. A start date will be discussed with successful applicants but provisionally a date towards end of July, beginning of August.

To apply please complete the application form and return it to [email protected]. CVs will not be accepted.


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