Residential Volunteer - Long term placement - Dee Estuary based at Burton Mere

Tuesday 10 August 2021
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation, Residential volunteering, Showing people wildlife, Helping visitors at our reserves
Dee Estuary, England

What we're looking for

The Dee Estuary is one of the RSPB's largest and most up and coming reserves; after modest beginnings 40 years ago, in the past decade we have flourished with the development of Burton Mere Wetlands where more than 200 pairs of breeding waders thrive and nearly 50,000 annual visitors come to enjoy the rich and varied wildlife. With satellite sites at Parkgate, Point of Ayr and Woolston Eyes to also manage, the small staff team need support from two residential volunteers in order to keep on top of everything, and be able to continually improve the reserve for both wildlife and visitors. Our residential volunteers are key members of the reserve team, each contributing to both the wardening activities (habitat management and species monitoring) and with delivering excellent customer service in the ever-expanding visitor operation.

The skills you need

You need to be over 18, with a full clean driving licence . A friendly, approachable manner will help you fit into the close-knit reserve team. Confidence to initiate conversations is vital to succeed in working with visitors, along with a proactive mindset to maintain high standards of customer care. For the warden side of the role, a certain amount of ecological knowledge and basic bird identification skills are an advantage, plus a strong practical aptitude is desirable for manual tasks.

Your time

3 - 6 months
Immediate start from August 2021
Immediate start from August 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?

If you're seeking a career in conservation, this placement would be perfect. With an equal split between the two sides of the reserve operation, you will gain well-rounded knowledge and experience which is beneficial to a range of conservation roles you may progress into, or may be valuable in helping you decide. You will gain priceless experience of getting to grips with practical reserve management surveying and estate work, you will also develop skills in visitor experience (greeting visitors, membership recruitment, retail and catering, social media and blog writing, event planning and delivery) and why it is so important to the RSPB. Whichever direction you want to progress in conservation, experience of both practical nature reserve management and visitor experience delivery is essential: a good warden is confident in dealing with visitors, and a good visitor experience officer has a sound understanding of habitats and species… win, win! On top of all of that, you get to live in well-equipped accommodation in the heart of a truly special nature reserve with egrets out of the living room window, a badger hide on your doorstep and boasting some of the best sunsets in the country. Should your level of experience qualify you, we would like to take on one of our two residential volunteers in a full-time wardening capacity as opposed to the original split role, however there will still be opportunities to gain visitor experience skills.

How to apply


Rachael Carson, 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 8572