Residential Volunteer - Rathlin Island

Wednesday 10 January 2018
Vacancy type:
Residential volunteering, Showing people wildlife
Rathlin Island

What we're looking for

This is a truly unique volunteering experience. Rathlin Island has the largest seabird breeding colony in Northern Ireland. The West Lighthouse Seabird Centre welcomes in excess of 15,000 visitors during the summer, all eager to see the puffins and other seabirds at this internationally important Seabird Colony The Seabird Centre re-opened in Spring 2016 following a total refurbishment and upgrade which included a new Visitor Centre and extended access to the lighthouse itself. This has significantly improved the visitor experience and is now promoted as a 'Great Lighthouse of Ireland' on the Lighthouse Trail'. We want you to be the welcoming and knowledgeable face of the RSPB to inspire, engage and motivate our visitors to support the work of the RSPB through donations and membership.

The skills you need

Minimum age 18. Enthusiasm, ability to work both on your own initiative and as part of a team, interested in conservation and wildlife but, above all, good with people and quick to learn. Due to the nature of the site, this role requires a lot of walking and negotiating the 120+ steep steps to the Viewing Platform. You need to be friendly, relaxed and able to engage with visitors from all over the world. Overseas volunteers should have a good level of spoken English. Please note, specialist bird knowledge, whilst helpful, is not essential

Your time

2 weeks Monday to Monday
April to end September 2018
April to end September 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?

As an RSPB volunteer you'll be part of something big – a team of amazing and dedicated people who donate their time, energy, talent and skills to help birds and other wildlife. As well as playing a vital role in the delivery of the visitor experience at the Seabird Centre you will also learn about other conservation work being undertaken on the island, for corncrake and chough and help to raise awareness of this important work. During your stay you will gain a valuable insight into the workings of Europe's largest conservation charity. Away from the Centre you will have the opportunity in your spare time to enjoy the wild and untamed landscape of this beautiful island, and get to understand the unique ways of island life. Self catering accommodation is provided in Kinramer Camping Barn, 2.5 miles (1 hour walk) from Rathlin Harbour and village amenities (Shop, Cafe, PO and Pub), and 1 mile (20 mins walk) from the Seabird Centre. There are two rooms - upstairs is dormitory- style for up to six people and the other, downstairs, for three so no matter what the gender mix you will be sharing a room with members of the same sex.

How to apply


Jane Shah, UKHQ Volunteering Development Department
Tel: 01767 680551


The spectacular location is mainly outdoors, at a cliff-side lighthouse and visitor centre, within a National Nature Reserve on a scenic island, steeped in history and rich in biodiversity. Late night sunsets, island characters and wide panoramas combine to provide a volunteering experience second to none. Tourism makes an important and growing contribution to the local economy and, within this, the Seabird Centre is one of the main visitor attractions on the island. Elsewhere on the island the RSPB employs a Reserve Warden and Assistant Warden to manage four additional sites including Roonivoolin - a spectacular coastal walking trail. In doing so we endeavour to work closely with the local farmers and the wider community. During your stay you will be expected to act as ambassadors, helping to build support for the wider work of RSPB. 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 303