Nest Protection Volunteer - Observation Hide

We are looking for volunteers to watch over and protect the osprey nest for 4 hours a fortnight when our centre is closed for the day.

Friday 31 January 2020
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation
Abernethy Reserve

What we're looking for

Would you enjoy joining a dedicated team of volunteers and staff looking after a protected species? Have you ever wanted the chance to play a vital role in an iconic Scottish historical conservation project? Then this role is for you! We are looking for evening watch volunteers to observe the osprey nest while the birds are incubating eggs. You do not need to have any experience in bird watching, just a positive can-do attitude. We are looking for volunteers to watch over and protect the osprey nest for 4 hours a fortnight when our centre is closed for the day. In return, you will have a special opportunity and access to watch and learn about ospreys from the warmth and comfort from our observation hide. In this role, you will receive training to provide behavioural science information that started 60 years ago and learn about the forest that surrounds the nest. The role takes place over 11 weeks between April to early June in 2020. With our site being a visitor hotspot sometimes the birds can become startled with out of hours visitors. Your role is valuable; you will not only observe and record osprey behaviour but you will care for the nests by managing responsible behaviour around the nest by visitors. In the absence of a nesting pair of ospreys, we would still be looking for keen volunteers to watch over the nest early in the season. This would prevent disturbance to ospreys looking to establish in the future. This is a special opportunity to experience the forest at night as well as critical work to protect our ospreys in the UK. You will receive hands-on training and guidance to ensure you are fully supported before the excitement of the season begins.

The skills you need

A people person who enjoys meeting and engaging with others. Calm and confident attitude to managing conflict and unwanted behaviour. An enthusiasm for nature and its conservation and protection. A warm and friendly personality. The ability to work closely with others.

Your time

4 hours a fortnight, can be flexible as to which day this is.
11 weeks
April - June

What's in it for you?

You will gain experience working on one of the most unique conservation projects in the UK. Our nest watch Osprey project has a rare and extraordinary history that saw the return of this charismatic species to this very site. As a Nest Protection Volunteer, you will also play a larger role in protecting Abernethy Forest, home to 20% of all the rare and endangered species in the UK! As a valued team member, you will be part of an exciting team of staff and volunteers who do everything from guided walks, species surveys, to working in our shop. The project has a great mix of people, from long serving, knowledgeable members to new fresh faces ready to learn and add value. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and make lasting life-long friendships. You will have a dedicated line manager who will support you every step of the way. You will receive conflict management training and be fully supported in how best to manage potential situations safely and effectively. You will receive special, hands-on experience learning and contributing to our conservation efforts to protect one of Scotland's most iconic birds of prey, the Osprey as well as Abernethy Forest, home to many of the UK's rare and endangered species.

How to apply


Fergus Cumberland, Abernethy Reserve
Tel: 01479 821409


You will be fully trained and supported to excel in this role. In return, we'd ask you to bring your skills and talents, as mentioned above, with enthusiasm and a good positive attitude to get started and help out as needed. We can teach you some tried and true public engagement skills and everything you need to know when observing and recording osprey behaviour. Out of pocket volunteer expenses related to the role are covered. The RSPB is a 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 9167