Residential Volunteer - Long term placement - Old Hall Marshes

Friday 5 February 2021
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation, Residential volunteering
Old Hall Marshes

What we're looking for

We are looking for an individual to join our small warden team at Old Hall Marshes, an internationally important wet grassland with a centuries-old grazing tradition. We want you to be involved in all aspects of reserve management and to play a part in improving how the reserve is managed for the diverse range of wildlife it supports.

The skills you need

You will need enthusiasm, a positive attitude and the ability to work as part of team. You should have a keen interest in nature and a commitment to nature conservation. You must be prepared to undertake physical work outside in all weathers. You must be over 18 and have a full clean driving licence.

Your time

6 months
6 months
April 2021-October 2021



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?

The reserve work programme will provide a wide range of opportunities for you to develop your knowledge and skills in conservation. You will gain experience of working on ancient grazing marsh, reedbed, saline lagoon and estuarine habitats. The work is very varied and will allow you to gain a wealth of experience necessary for pursuing a career in nature conservation, this may include: • Conducting breeding bird surveys including wader (lapwing, redshank, avocet) and water-bird (pochard, tufted, grebes, etc) on lowland wet grassland. • Breeding lapwing monitoring which includes finding the nests, visiting nests to track progress, using trail cameras to spot predation, monitoring the breeding grounds to identify potential predators in the area and chick counting. • Checking and maintaining anti-predator electric fences that protect breeding waders • Training in and use of GIS software to produce maps and input biological data • Monitoring predators of wet grassland birds by conducting surveys and checking trail cameras and mink rafts • Attending formal accredited training as required by the role • Conducting monthly WeBS counts throughout the year • Contributing to the Essex Little Tern Group by surveying seabirds on the estuary by boat and advocacy work to raise awareness of little terns to other estuary users • Learning about the hydrology of the site and contribute to its management for the benefit of breeding and passage birds • Gaining experience of working with livestock by checking Konik ponies and assisting with moving cattle from different fields. We will support your career development by helping you with application writing and career coaching through regular one to one meetings. These will be conducted by RSPB staff with knowledge of what you need to do to get a career in conservation. Many previous volunteers have been successful in gained paid employment with the RSPB and other conservation organisations.

How to apply


Neil Lincoln, Old Hall Marshes
Tel: 01621 869015


To apply please complete the application form in the Download section and send to along with a covering letter and CV. The Covid pandemic will affect some work activities on the reserve due to social distancing measures put in place to safeguard you, however this will be minimal due to the nature of the site and the work. The successful candidate will be expected to comply with the RSPB's Covid risk assessment and will be fully briefed on this prior to starting the role. Accommodation is provided free of charge at a rural mid-terraced cottage, located approximately three quarters of a mile from the reserve. Due to the Covid pandemic you will live alone at the property whilst government restrictions apply. The cottage has electricity, broadband, central heating and shower/bath. Bedding can be provided if required. There is a TV, DVD player, washing machine, iron, cooker, microwave, fridge and freezer. The reserve is quite isolated so your own car would be useful. Bicycles are also available to use. Local facilities include a corner shop, post office, bakers, butchers and doctors approximately 1.5 miles in Tollesbury. The nearest supermarkets are located in Tiptree (5 miles) and Maldon (7 miles). Minimum commitment: 6 months 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 293