Residential Volunteer- Long term placement - Mersehead

Monday 18 June 2018
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation, Residential volunteering

What we're looking for

Mersehead is a stunning example of wetland habitat restoration, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Solway Firth and surrounding hills. The reserve boasts a wide variety of habitats including wet grassland, reedbed, farmland, saltmarsh, sand dunes and intertidal sand and mudflats. It is an exciting time here on the reserve as we have recently acquired a further 79 hectares of land that will connect Mersehead to our existing land at Preston Merse, as well as an additional 31 hectares of saltmarsh. This will allow us to create bigger, better and more dynamic habitats for the special species we have here. We also hold the UK's most north-westerly population of the rare Natterjack Toad, a European Protected Species. We are looking for an enthusiastic residential volunteer to join our small, friendly team here at Mersehead to help with the delivery of our winter work programme. You will undertake a range of habitat and estate management tasks such as Natterjack Toad habitat improvement; assist with the surveying of wintering waders and wildfowl which includes the monitoring of an internationally important population of Svalbard Barnacle Geese, as well as regularly man our visitor centre.

The skills you need

You must be at least 18 years of age, preferably with a full, clean driving licence. Have a keen interest in wildlife, conservation and the environment with a willingness to learn. An organised, flexible approach, along with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude is essential. You will be comfortable working as part of a small team, as well as alone. There will be some weekend work but time will be given back in lieu. You'll be happy to work outside in all weathers and have a practical aptitude that will allow you to get stuck into any number of tasks that come with managing a nature reserve.

Your time

26 weeks
Mid August 2018 - End March 2019
Mid August 2018 - End March 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?

You'll get to live and work on the beautiful Solway coast where you'll learn about all aspects of managing and running a nature reserve. You'll work alongside staff and volunteers to gain a range of practical, survey and people engagement experience. From counting thousands of Svalbard Barnacle Geese, assisting with Natterjack Toad habitat management and repairing fences, to chatting with our visitors or surveying on our newly acquired land; no two days will be the same. During your stay, you will be living in the heart of the reserve in our recently converted farmhouse. Training will be provided where appropriate. This is an excellent opportunity to make a genuine contribution to wildlife conservation whilst gaining a valuable insight into the workings of Europe's largest nature conservation charity.

How to apply


Jane Shah, Volunteering Development Department
Tel: 01767 680551


This is a remote site so your own transport would be advantageous. 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 the environment. Nature is amazing; help us keep it that way.

Reference number 3781