RSPB North Scotland Regional Office

Charity registered in Scotland SC037654

RSPB Scotland is part of the RSPB, which is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We also play a leading role in a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

Current opportunity

Are you interested in wildlife and would you like to get involved in practical work on our Culbin Sands reserve? We are looking for new volunteers to get involved and help us manage our remote and fascinating Culbin Sands reserve. We rely on the hard work and dedication of volunteers to keep the habitats on this reserve in fine condition. To do this, we are running work groups, usually once or twice a week between August and April. This role is suitable for under 18’s. We will carry out habitat management tasks during these work groups, which will include the removal of scrub and small trees with hand tools and burning brash on bonfires. We are looking for volunteers to help out with these management tasks by joining our dedicated team of volunteers. Work groups take place between Monday and Saturday. It is not possible to run work groups on regular days of the week as access to Culbin Sands is dependent on the timing of tides, so planned work group dates are released every few weeks. The tasks are running as part of our LIFE 100% for Nature Project, which aims to improve the condition of sand dune and vegetated shingle habitats on the reserve, to benefit a range of rare and threatened species. In this role you'll learn about the management and ecology of this important reserve while developing new skills in habitat management or just enjoying this remote and wild reserve. While in the role, appropriate training and support will be provided for all tasks. Through this role you will be making an important contribution to the management of this reserve. We are looking for volunteers who are enthusiastic, flexible and can get on well with a range of people. If you have an interest in conservation it will be helpful, but not essential. No specialist skills are required however, you will need to be able to use hand tools (bowsaws, loppers) for cutting vegetation and you will need to be able to withstand 4-6 hours of working (at your own pace) on a remote site in sometimes poor weather conditions. You will need to be able to move over steep, boggy and sandy ground and be able to step over or use a narrow plank to cross a tidal creek to access the site. You will need to be comfortable to occasionally work around loud machinery and to follow safety instructions. Due to the remoteness of the reserve, there are no indoor toilet facilities at this reserve. You will need to make sure you have an up-to-date tetanus injection. As the reserve is remote, you will need your own transport to get to the reserve. The reserve is not served by public transport. Volunteers will need to provide their own food, drink and outdoor clothing, including wellies. The RSPB will provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment relevant to the tasks, such as work gloves and protective glasses. We recommend that new volunteers attend a trial volunteer session, to ensure that the role is suitable for them.