Residential Volunteer - Visitor Experience - Loch Gruinart & The Oa

Monday 6 November 2017
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation, Residential volunteering
Loch Gruinart

What we're looking for

Located in the heart of the beautiful Isle of Islay, RSPB Loch Gruinart is a unique Scottish reserve. A working farm, it acts as a demonstration site where agriculture and conservation work together. The site has a modest visitor centre, two trails and two bird hides. From these there are panoramic views of Loch Gruinart, Gruinart Flats, salt-marsh and fresh water wetland. In spring and summer hundreds of breeding waders, sky-dancing hen harriers and the elusive corncrake find a home on the reserve. RSPB Islay welcomes over 15,000 visitors a year. We are looking for an enthusiastic residential volunteer to represent us, acting as first point of contact for many of these visitors to the reserves. We are offering a unique opportunity for someone with Public Relations, Marketing and Communication talents to use their skills in the field of wildlife conservation. You will assist in the daily management of the Visitor Centre, event organisation, guided walks, fundraising activities and a dynamic social media presence, providing our members and visitors with a unique visitor experience on our nature reserves.

The skills you need

You will need to be at least 18 years old with a clean driving licence and able to stay at least 12 weeks. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential in order to effectively communicate the RSPB message. Enthusiasm and an ability to work as part of a small team, with a genuine interest in conservation and wildlife are all important. Working hours are normally 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Some evening or weekend work is often required and time off in lieu given accordingly. Good wildlife identification skills would be an advantage!

Your time

12 weeks minimum
March 2018 - October 2018
March 2018 - October 2018



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?

Loch Gruinart and The Oa are very different reserves in a beautiful setting on the Isle of Islay. During your stay, you will become a member of the reserve management team on Islay. You will have a chance to expand your wildlife identification skills through assisting with guided walks on wetland, farmland, moorland and cliff top habitats. You will gain a deeper understanding into the management of a nature reserve and farm, with practical experience in promoting, marketing and communicating the work we do to a diverse audience. This is your chance to make a genuine contribution to wildlife conservation in this unique environment. Furthermore, you will gain valuable experience working with Europe's largest conservation charity.

How to apply


Jane Shah, Volunteering Development Department
Tel: 01767 680551


Loch Gruinart is 6 miles from the nearest shop or village, mobile phone reception is patchy and there is no Wi-Fi in the accommodation; this will be a remote lifestyle during your stay so please ask any questions you might have beforehand to get a good idea of what it is like. Your own transport would be extremely useful. Appropriate training will be provided and pre-agreed expenses will be re-imbursed where necessary. 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

Reference number 286