Visitor Experience Officer - Residential

  • VO80365


By providing visitors with incredible wildlife moments for 60 years, the visitor centre at
Loch Garten has built a strong reputation for an exceptional visitor experience and
great customer care. Recently the centre has undergone a redevelopment funded by
European Structural Funds, and we want to build on this to further ensure visitors to our
refurbished facility have an enhanced and memorable visitor experience.
As the faces of the Loch Garten Nature Centre, our visitor experience team are crucial

  • chatting to visitors, answering questions and sharing their passion for the amazing
    wildlife of Abernethy reserve. We need our visitors to be inspired and enthused so that
    they become lifelong supporters of our charitable conservation work through RSPB
    membership, one of the most important sources of income for the organisation.
    We need your help to be part of the team meeting and greeting our visitors from all
    walks of life and of all ages, by following the RSPB’s GREAT Welcome framework,
    leading to building support for our conservation work through making RSPB members.
    Offering inspiring communications about the Caledonian pineforest which surrounds the
    centre, including our breeding ospreys, and the conservation work we undertake on the
    wider reserve as part of the Cairngorms Connect partnership is what we do best!
    We run hands-on activities for children and families, as well as a programme of special
    events eg guided walks, themed weekends etc and your help in planning, promoting,
    organising and delivering these added extras will be encouraged.
    Due to its importance for habitats and species, RSPB Abernethy is one of the most
    heavily designated pieces of land in the UK, with international as well as domestic legal
    protection. We need to keep an active eye on the reserve and in particular the forest
    trails near the centre, interacting with our visitors and ensuring that they’re all behaving
    responsibly, in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, and you will be
    asked to take on this responsibility, along with the rest of the team.
    We have an active Facebook page (11,000+ followers) and a popular reserve blog and
    we need your contributions to build our online audience and encourage support.
    Loch Garten has a long history of involving volunteers and many people give up a week
    or two of their time to come and help us as short-term residential volunteers. We need
    you to take an active role in managing these volunteers, organising pick-ups and dropoffs,
    leading on their induction, organising the rota and ensuring they are kept busy and
    involved when they are with us.
    Finally, our visitor centre and its environs need to be kept in excellent working order;
    being vigilant about litter, restocking leaflets, undertaking daily checks on activities and
    signage, as well as working with the team to keep the facilities clean.
    You’ll be volunteering in one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Europe, among scarce and endangered wildlife and critically rare habitats. You’ll be part of a vibrant and dynamic team of staff and volunteers, some who have been part of Loch Garten for decades and some who are brand new. You’ll be able to share in their knowledge and build strong and significant relationships, many of which will last for life.
    By making RSPB members, you’ll be making a real and tangible difference to nature conservation. Your help will directly allow the RSPB to carry out meaningful change, both on Abernethy and across the UK.
    You’ll receive a full induction and training and will be supported by a dedicated line manager throughout your time in this role.
    You will be given training opportunities in many areas of visitor experience, including membership, managing volunteers, First Aid, Safeguarding, event planning and more. Our aim is to help you improve your skill-set via and to significantly improve your CV and enhance your employability. We also offer job application advice and coaching.
    You will get the chance to learn about and explore the incredible place that is RSPB Abernethy, meeting reserve staff and receiving insight into the wider work that goes on here. There will be opportunities to get involved in some of the conservation work on the wider reserve on your days off, should you desire to do so.
    This role comes with free, shared accommodation (though you get your own room) just 1.5 miles from the Nature Centre.

Organisation aims and objectives

The RSPB is the UK charity working to secure a healthy environment for birds and other wildlife, helping to create a better world for us all. The RSPB exists to conserve wild birds and the environment. We have more than one million members, over 13,000 volunteers, 1,300 staff, 200 nature reserves,9 regional offices, 4 country offices...and one vision - to work for a better environment rich in birds and wildlife.










Frequency and commitment details

Residential - 5 days per week


You must be aged 18 or over and hold a full driving licence. You will frequently be working weekends, but on these occasions, time off will be given during the week.
Experience required: The confidence to strike up conversations with people from all walks of life and to listen and respond appropriately; an enthusiasm for wildlife and conservation; a friendly personality and a ready smile! A positive 'can-do' membership attitude, so that more membership conversations take place, with a high number resulting in memberships, providing income for the RSPB. A driving licence is desirable (to allow you to drive the RSPB vehicle) though not essential.
Travel details: Accommodation is provided 1.5 miles from the Nature Centre where you'll be volunteering.
Minimum age: 18


Expenses paid: Yes
Expenses details: Any appropriate expenses incurred whilst volunteering will be covered
Training details: A critical part of this role is the learning you will undertake, from formal training courses on areas including membership, managing volunteers, safeguarding and first aid to practical on the job application and development in many areas of visitor experience. We take on board your goals for how this role can help you develop your career and will work with you to tailor any training and development plans to meet your needs wherever possible. In order to best support the enhancement of your CV and employability we will provide advice and coaching on application writing and interview skills. You will get the chance to learn about and explore the incredible place that is RSPB Abernethy, meeting reserve staff and receiving insight into the wider work that goes on here. There will be opportunities to get involved in some of the conservation work on the wider reserve on your days off, should you desire to do so.

Last updated 3 months ago