Spartina Project Assistant

Tuesday 25 May 2021
Vacancy type:
Practical conservation
North Scotland

What we're looking for

As part of our LIFE 100% for Nature Project, we are monitoring, managing and where possible eradicating Spartina anglica from within the Cromarty Firth Special Protection Area (SPA).The presence of this invasive plant within the SPA damages the condition of fragile saltmarsh habitats and reduces the area available for roosting and feeding wading birds. We need people to help us achieve these ambitious aims by volunteering with us. As a volunteer you can get involved in finding and mapping Spartina anglica around the Cromarty Firth. You can also take part in monitoring Spartina anglica and the habitat it occurs in and you can help RSPB staff with the management of this invasive plant. Volunteer tasks will take place at our Udale and Nigg Bay reserves and on other intertidal sites around the Cromarty Firth. The timing of tasks is irregular in nature as access to the sites is dependant on weather and tides,

The skills you need

Enthusiasm, flexibility and the ability to get on well with a range of people is essential. An interest in conservation will be helpful. No specialist skills are required, however you will need to be able to undertake 3-6 hours of work (at your own pace) on remote sites in sometimes poor weather conditions. You will need to be able to walk over undulating, boggy and rough ground and be able to walk up to 2-3km during a task. You will need to be comfortable with occasionally working around staff carrying out targeted chemical control of Spartina and to follow safety instructions (for example, safe access around tidal sites and lone working protocols). Due to the remote nature of the sites, there are no indoor toilet facilities at these sites. You will need to make sure you have an up-to-date tetanus injection. As the sites we are working on are remote, you will need your own transport to get to them. Some of the sites are served by public transport, but the services are limited,

Your time

1 or 2 days a month
Until July 2024
May - September

What's in it for you?

An opportunity to help protect and improve important habitats within the Cromarty Firth while working alongside a committed team of volunteers and staff. You'll learn about the identification, management and ecology of Spartina anglica and the important saltmarsh habitats of the Cromarty Firth while developing new skills in ecology or just enjoying this unique and special area. Appropriate training and support will be provided for the tasks. Through this role you will be making an important contribution to the management or monitoring of this area.

How to apply


David Tompkins, North Scotland Regional Office
Tel: 01463 715000


Volunteers will need to provide their own food, drink and outdoor clothing, we recommend that volunteers wear wellies for this role. The RSPB will provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment relevant to the tasks, such as work gloves. Prior to starting the role, we will have an informal discussion with new volunteers to ensure the role is suitable for them. All the training necessary and background information will be provided and since you'll be giving up your time, it's only fair that we offer to re-imburse your travel expenses (up to 25 miles). Due to Covid-19, additional safety measures are in place to protect our volunteers, staff and the wider public, details of these measures will be explained during volunteer inductions. The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. We rely upon memberships and donations to fund our work. By volunteering your time and skills, you could make a real difference to the work of the RSPB. Nature is amazing – help us keep it that way.

Reference number 9386