Assistant Warden, Orkney Reserves


This is a fantastic opportunity to join the Stromness team working on various beautiful nature
reserves across Orkney. From upland moors to lowland wetlands, and meadows to seabird cliffs
and islands, our eight RSPB Orkney mainland reserves support a wide range of habitats and
species. We are looking for an energetic, skilled Assistant Warden to join the Orkney team and
take our conservation goals to new heights. The role is a permanent position and will be

As an Assistant Warden, you will be working closely with the Warden, and the Estate Worker and
our regular volunteers. There will be support from our Site Manager and Senior Site Manager.

Your main tasks will be to assist in delivering the management plan objectives for the various
reserves on Orkney Mainland, to help with a range of wildlife surveys, while adhering to the
many Health and Safety requirements associated with this role.

The Assistant Warden will supervise contractors, use and maintenance of machinery such as
Brushcutters, Chainsaws and Tractors, work planning and record-keeping, surveying of many key
species across our reserves and assisting in the recording and reporting of this. You will work
closely with many volunteers and your support for them will be crucial.

What’s the role about? 

The role will be focused on helping us to improve the habitats across our reserves and keeping
our reserve structures well maintained. Work on the ground will include topping of vegetation,
repairing and building fences, keeping our hides, signs and paths in good condition, driving
tractors and quad bikes, cutting paths with brushcutters, herbicide spraying or weed-wiping
invasive plants, and cutting back scrub. We have also recently purchased a tracked tractor to
help cut our wetter fields, so you will be involved in working on that in the Autumn.

Line-managed by the Orkney Mainland Warden, you will be based in our Stromness Office and be
working within our reserves team. The applicant should enjoy working independently and with
others as part of a team. The role will involve working in a wide range of habitats, including
some tough terrain and frequently challenging weather conditions. You will need to have a good
attitude towards the demands of working in an upland and island environment. As Assistant
Warden you will need a good interest and knowledge of wildlife and land management, demonstrate
a broad practical skill set, and have good IT skills and good communication skills. 

What we need from you

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • A keen interest and knowledge of wildlife and land management; able to demonstrate a broad
    practical skill set; have good IT skills and good communication skills.
  • It is essential that you have experience of surveying a number of different bird species,
    across a range of habitats, using a number of different techniques
  • You will need experience in operating and maintaining tractors and associated implements,
    and in towing large trailers, and driving ATVs with trailers and other implements
  • You will be a practical person, with skills and experience in a range of estate management
    work, to include constructing and repairing stock fences, and structures such as paths and
    hides, and competent in the use of a range of hand and powered tools, including chainsaw,
    brushcutter, knapsack sprayer and ATV, or be willing to learn.
  • You will have a proven track record of completing work alone and working within a varied
  • Comfortable managing volunteers from a range of backgrounds
  • Good adherence to Health and Safety and able to follow all guidance provided.
  • Full driving licence

Desirable knowledge and qualifications:

  • Good communication skills and computer literacy, which includes record keeping and some
    data management.
  • Experience of living and working in remote areas within small communities. 
  • Lantra or equivalent qualification in ATV, chainsaw, tractor driving with implements,
    pesticide use, brushcutters and vehicles.
  • Requirements of local agri-environment and cross-compliance regulations

Additional information:

  •  This role will require occasional weekend, early morning and evening working so will need
    someone who is able to be flexible.
  • As this post will involve transporting tools and materials to a number of dispersed reserves
    across Orkney and driving a tractor on roads, you will need to be eligible to drive in the UK.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a copy of your CV and complete
an application form, which should include evidence on how you meet the Essential and Desirable
skills, knowledge, and experience described above. 

This is a Permanent Full Time role for 37.5 hours per week.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position in Orkney, week beginning 17th April

 If you would like to discuss the role further, please contact Elizabeth Fricker on 07866
578074 or [email protected] for more information.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act 1974.

We are committed to developing an inclusive and diverse RSPB in which everyone feels supported,
valued, and able to be their full selves. To achieve our vision of creating a world richer in
nature, we need more people on nature’s side and more diverse people. People of colour and
disabled people are underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and
conservation sectors. If you identify as a person of colour and/or are disabled, we are
particularly interested in receiving your application. Contact us to discuss any additional
support you may need to complete your application.

Find out more & apply

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