Residential Volunteer - Long term placement - Loch Gruinart & The Oa

Wednesday 30 June 2021
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation, Residential volunteering
Loch Gruinart

What we're looking for

The Isle of Islay is home to two very different RSPB Reserves. RSPB Loch Gruinart is home to hen harriers, corncrakes and thousands of wintering wildfowl and barnacle geese. RSPB The Oa is a wild landscape with dramatic scenery; home to golden eagles and chough. Both reserves are working farms. You'll be helping with habitat management, surveys and maintenance of reserve infrastructure, gaining valuable experience with practical work, and assisting with our livestock. Help will also be needed with guided walks, on and off-site events, and occasionally in the Visitor Centre. Throughout the year there will be opportunities to expand your wildlife identification skills through assisting with recording such as breeding bird and butterfly surveys.

The skills you need

You need to be at least 18 years old with a full clean driving license. You should be enthusiastic, resilient and a good team player, with an interest in conservation and wildlife. You should be prepared to undertake strenuous manual labour outside in all weathers. Your own transport would be helpful, as the RSPB accommodation is 6 miles from the nearest shop or village. The accommodation is remote, with no public transport connections.

Your time

minimum six weeks, preferably 6 months
6 months
ASAP from July onwards



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?

This is a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills and be a key part of a team which prides itself in promoting the assets of this unique Hebridean island. During your stay, you will become a member of the reserve management team. You will contribute to practical conservation and learn about running and managing a nature reserve and farm. Your work will contribute toward safeguarding the future of iconic Hebridean birds like corncrake and chough. In return you will gain valuable experience in conservation work, as well as free accommodation during your stay.

How to apply


Lauren Stewart, Loch Gruinart
Tel: 01496 850505


Mobile phone reception is patchy and there is no wifi 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. Appropriate training will be provided and pre-arranged 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 287