Residential Volunteer - Long term - Little Tern Recovery Project - Dorset

Wednesday 13 February 2019
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation, Residential volunteering
Little Tern Recovery Project

What we're looking for

Chesil Beach in Dorset has the only little tern colony in South West England. This small but significant colony suffered serious declines from the late 1990s and in 2009, no birds nested at all. Since then the RSPB, with other local partners, set up a new protection project. Thanks to the hard work of staff and volunteers the colony is now recovering, going from strength to strength. We need to recruit a team of residential volunteers to work alongside the local volunteer team and Project Officer to help ensure the terns have a successful season. The colony is monitored 24 hrs, 7 days a week as little terns are also under threat at night, especially from predators. This is where your help is critical. We need to recruit two full-time Night Shift residential volunteers who will work in shifts, keeping constant watch and patrolling to prevent predation events and human disturbance impacting the terns. In addition there will be some daytime opportunities to raise awareness by talking to people and assisting with events.

The skills you need

You must be... • At least 18 years old • Highly motivated and dedicated to the protection of the little tern colony • Reliable and punctual • Able to work unsupervised and concentrate at night • Able to work well in a small team • Prepared to work outside in all weathers A flexible attitude is essential as these placements will involve night shifts and weekend working. Interest in, and enthusiasm for, wildlife and conservation is essential in this role. Knowledge of little tern ecology and experience monitoring seabird colonies would be useful, but is not essential. You must be able to get to and from the volunteer accommodation to the watch point on Chesil Beach for the duration of your stay. A car or bicycle would be useful but is not essential. If you have any questions about this role, please contact Kevin Rylands, Conservation Officer ( tel 01392 457190. Please send your application form and a copy of your CV to the address below. Please apply ASAP.

Your time

12 weeks
11 May – 3 August 2019
11 May – 3 August 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?

This is a chance to make a direct and tangible contribution to conserving this important species. You will be working on the glorious Chesil Beach near Portland Harbour in Weymouth and will see some incredible wildlife. This is a top opportunity for you to develop skills in nest protection and seabird monitoring and you will have a dedicated mentor who will monitor your progress and help with personal development throughout the your stay. We offer free accommodation in a fully equipped local property, twin bedrooms are likely. You will need to bring your own bed linen/sleeping bag.

How to apply


Jane Shah, UKHQ Volunteering Development Department
Tel: 01767 680551


Appropriate training will be provided and pre-agreed expenses will be re-imbursed where necessary. 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 8235