Assistant Warden



Job Type



Charity / Voluntary, Environmental / Conservation



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 full-time.

Assistant Warden, Orkney Reserves
Location: RSPB Scotland – Orkney
Salary: £25,723.00 - £27,614.00 Per Annum
Hours: Full Time, 37.5 hours per week
Contract: Permanent
Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance

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 team.
  • 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.

Closing date: 23:59, Sunday, 9th April 2023
We are looking to conduct interviews for this position in Orkney, week beginning 17th April 2023.

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.

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

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