Volunteering is a great way to get involved in conservation, whatever your background, skills and aspirations. People volunteer for various reasons, such as gaining work experience, having a working holiday, meeting like minded people or getting active in the outdoors. It offers opportunities to learn, enjoy and gain experience in several different fields, all whilst contributing to the conservation of nature, wildlife and ecosystems.
Here in the Flow Country, the Flows to the Future Project and the RSPB are able to offer several ways to get involved, with more roles in development for the future. We also offer work experience opportunities for young people.
Residential Conservation Volunteer
Residential volunteers live on site. This type of volunteering is an opportunity to try something different, to build up experience for a career in conservation or have a working holiday. We need enthusiastic volunteers to assist with our busy habitat restoration and monitoring programme, wildlife surveys and practical management work. It is a top opportunity to get an insight into the management of a nature reserve on a landscape scale.
Long term volunteering
We are currently looking for an enthusiastic residential volunteer warden from the start of October until the end of February to assist with our busy habitat restoration and monitoring programme, wildlife surveys and practical management works. This is a good opportunity to learn about a variety of aspects of reserve management as we are only a small team of staff. We will provide relevant training in different ecological survey and monitoring techniques, navigation and hill skills and 4x4 off-road driving.
You will need to be at least 18 yrs old, preferably with a clean driving licence and have a keen interest in conservation. You will feel equally comfortable whether you are roaming around the reserve on your own all day or working in a small busy office on data entry and management.
For more information and how to apply visit the RSPB website here. The closing date for this role is 21 August 2017.
Short term volunteering
We are also looking for short term volunteers through the winter. This opportunity will be for a minimum of two weeks and will involve similar work to that of the long term opportunity. Dates currently available are from 17th February - 7th April 2017.
The role description is available here: Short term
Residential volunteer opportunities are advertized on the RSPB website.
David Jarret, former residential volunteer says:
‘I had a fantastic time volunteering at Forsinard, surveying some of our most iconic birds and taking part in genuine conservation work in a unique landscape. I've never learnt so many new things so quickly, and I also gained the skills and experience I needed to begin a career working in conservation. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at Forsinard, I would definitely recommend it!’
Residential Long Term People Engagement Volunteer
We are looking for an enthusiastic residential volunteer to help us engage with a wide range of people and raise awareness of the global importance of the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland known as The Flow Country. As part of the Flows to the Future Team you will work closely with our project partners: Scottish Natural Heritage, the Highland Council and Environmental Research Institute (North Highland College UHI) to create exciting and innovative ways to tell people about our work.
You will work primarily with our Learning Development and Communities Officers to build upon our existing work and increase our reach across this large area and beyond. This includes supporting the development and delivery of learning sessions for primary and secondary schools, organising and supporting a programme of community events across the Flow Country, contributing to our marketing and communications work and exploring the opportunities to promote our new film, 3D landscape model and computer game to a wider audience.
This role will begin at the start of October and last until February. For more information and to apply for this role visit the RSPB website here. The closing date for this role is 6 September 2017.
These two roles are all about working with young people. The Flow Country for Schools is an exciting programme for schools and runs at the RSPB Forsinard Flows National Nature Reserve, as well as through outreach at schools and peatlands near schools. Assistants help prepare and deliver learning activities in both indoor and outdoor settings. Activities are fun, and often hands-on and active. Assistants are important team members, as they enable greater flexibility, more interaction with pupils, and extra hands and friendly faces to ensure pupils get the best experience possible. The Learning Assistant's role includes helping with activities at Forsinard Flows NNR, Schools Outreach Assistants particularly help out working with schools in their area. It is possible to apply for a combination of both roles.
Visitor centre volunteer
Visitor centre volunteers help engage with members of the public who visit the RSPB Forsinard Flows Visitor Centre during the visitor season (April to September). They are a valuable addition to the team and help to provide information to members of the public who visit our reserve and visitor centre. Working closely together, volunteers and regular staff at the visitor centre aim to to provide a comprehensive experience for visitors and a wide range of engagement activities.
Workparty Conservation volunteer
An excellent chance to make a contribution to wildlife conservation. We require volunteers’ help in the areas of habitat management, reserve maintenance and visitor services. All tasks are vital for conservation of the site and for retaining good access to, and around the reserve.
Community Engagement volunteer
This role helps to inspire, engage and empower individuals and communities to get involved and to learn about the wildlife, environment and culture of the Flow Country through a programme of community events and projects across Caithness and Sutherland.
Friends and Family Volunteering
Have you ever wanted to volunteer but would like to share the fun with your friends and family? RSPB Scotland are looking for groups of enthusiastic residential volunteers for two weeks at a time in Autumn to assist with habitat restoration and monitoring, wildlife surveys and practical management.