Residential Volunteer - Long Term People Engagement - Forsinard

Tuesday 30 April 2019
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation, Residential volunteering, Showing people wildlife, Surveying wildlife
Forsinard Flows nature reserve

What we're looking for

We are looking for an enthusiastic residential volunteer to join our team to help us engage with a wide range of people and raise awareness of the global importance of the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland known as The Flow Country. As part of the Flows to the Future Team you will you will volunteer alongside our Learning Development and Communities Officers to build upon our existing work and increase our reach across this large area and beyond. This includes supporting the development and delivery of learning sessions for primary and secondary schools, organising and supporting a programme of community events across the Flow Country, contributing to our marketing and communications work (for example producing press releases and social media). You will also be able to undertake some practical management with the Forsinard Flows reserve staff and volunteers. The Flow Country is the best blanket bog of its type in the world and as a vast carbon store it is a key resource in the fight against climate change. The Flows to the Future Project is far reaching, ambitious and is significantly increasing the level of conservation management and promotional activities being undertaken. More information about the project and about the Flow Country can be found at: On the job training will be given in environmental education, public engagement methods, event management, social media and digital skills. You will also learn lots about peatlands and peatland management This role will involve working across the remote and beautiful landscapes of Caithness and Sutherland and the communities within them. You will be required to work evenings and weekends occasionally for which time off in lieu will be given.

The skills you need

We are looking for someone who can be a good ambassador for the project, who has good communication skills (written, verbal and IT) and who either has or would like to gain experience of communicating with people of different ages and from different backgrounds. Some knowledge and a keen interest in conservation, an enthusiastic and friendly attitude and the ability to be a team player are essential. As the role will require you to work across Caithness and Sutherland a full, clean driving licence is desirable (but not essential) as well as the ability to work independently at times. You will need to be aged over 18. Please enclose a copy of your CV with your application form.

Your time

6 weeks minimum stay
6 months
Immediate start - end of September 2019



Application form (PDF)
To be completed and returned to us before a booking can be made

Brochure about residential volunteering (PDF)
Find out more about residential volunteering on this, and our other reserves within this scheme. Also included are answers to the most frequently asked questions

What's in it for you?

We will provide you with training in a wide range of engagement activities and environmental education through shadowing and ongoing mentoring. This is a fantastic opportunity to work on an exciting project, learn about innovative conservation practices and how we aim to connect people with this globally important place. You will be part of a small, dynamic team and have the opportunity to make a real difference. You will develop a wide range of knowledge and skills which will be of benefit for a career in education, youth or community work or marketing and communications in the environment and conservation sectors. These will also be advantageous to other conservation careers such as habitat management or wildlife surveying. There will be regular opportunities to work with the RSPB Forsinard Flows team, and a range of schools, community groups and organisations across Caithness and Sutherland. Forsinard is a busy site with an RSPB team of 7 staff, 5 Flows to the Future Project staff, 5 residential volunteers and local volunteers. The reserve has internationally important areas of blanket bog and associated habitats, and other areas where the bog is now being restored. It is also a hub for peatland science, with visiting researchers from universities and research institutes. Many of them are working on issues related to climate change and the impacts of the innovative restoration programme. You will have opportunities to get to know this varied team giving you a deeper understanding of the issues facing the RSPB's largest nature reserve. Free accommodation is provided in the new field centre. A vehicle will be available to travel from accommodation to any work sites, and for a weekly visit to the shops. The accommodation is shared with other residential volunteers. You must be comfortable living in a remote location (the nearest shop is 13 miles away), and living harmoniously in shared accommodation. There is a train station at Forsinard.

How to apply


Jane Shah, UKHQ Volunteering Development Department
Tel: 01767 680551


Appropriate training will be provided and pre-arranged expenses will be re-imbursed where necessary. Free accommodation is provided. The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing - help us keep it that way. Click here to join today The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

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