Little Tern Volunteer

Tuesday 9 January 2018
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation
Various locations

What we're looking for

The Little Tern is one of the UK's rarest seabirds and has suffered chronic decline over the past 25 years. While populations have stabilised around the UK thanks to protections projects such as this, they are under more pressure now than ever before due to increased beach use, climate change, habitat loss and predation. Norfolk is a stronghold for Little terns, holding 30% of the UK's breeding population during the summer months, and the numbers in the East Norfolk area make up one of the largest and most important colonies in the UK. The wide beaches are perfect for the terns but are also very popular with tourists and locals alike, and this puts huge pressure on the easily disturbed birds. This is where we need your help to continue to protect this iconic species and raise awareness with the public about the project and how everyone can do their bit to help protect these important colonies. From taking part in bird surveys and predator monitoring, to manning the watch point and talking to the public about the importance of the project and what they can do to help and prevent disturbance to the nests.

The skills you need

Full training is provided through induction workshops and 1 to 1 training and RSPB staff provide ongoing support throughout the season. You will need to be fairly physically fit and comfortable working outside in all weather conditions. Basic shelter and welfare facilities are provided. You will need to be confident speaking to the public and prepared to learn some of the history of the Little Tern project and the issues the birds face in order to talk with the public and raise awareness.

Your time

Minimum half a day per week/one day per fortnight throughout the summer season (May – September). (The RSPB is flexible to booked holidays)
May – September
Seasonal: May – September

What's in it for you?

As an RSPB volunteer you are 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. If you love being outdoors at the coast, have an active interest in local conversation and enjoy talking to people, then we would like to hear from you. Full training and support is provided, and as part of the Little Tern team, you will meet new people, learn new practical and people skills, and make a real difference to this unique and invaluable project. From the beaches, other wildlife, including a range of sea birds, butterflies, seals and dolphins are a common sight. You can learn more about bird ecology and witness the drama of an active tern colony. You will able to follow the story of these endearing birds as they raise their young from tiny bundles of fluff to intrepid fledglings, before they fly 3000 miles to West Africa for the winter! The RSPB is the largest conservation charity in Europe and has numerous active and exciting projects to take part in. We can help you gain skills, make friends and gain an insight into our work.

How to apply


Daniel Hercock, Berney Marshes & Breydon Water
Tel: 01493 700645


Agreed upon volunteer transport expenses are available. A full driving licence and access to a vehicle is essential. The RSPB works for a healthy environment rich in birds and wildlife. It relies on the support and generosity of volunteers to make a difference. The RSPB is the UK charity working to secure a healthy environment for birds and wildlife, helping to create a better world for all of us. We belong to BirdLife International, the global partnership of bird conservation organisations. Your time and skills could make a real difference to the work of the RSPB and it would be great if you could join us.

Reference number 7851