Volunteering Opportunities

Residential Volunteer - Assistant Monitoring Officer

Reference number: 512
Location: Abernethy, Inverness-shire

Set in a vast landscape of ice-hewn mountains, spectacular pinewoods, tranquil lochs, and wild, rushing rivers, Cairngorms Connect is the largest habitat restoration partnership in Britain. Cairngorms Connect has bold plans to make this inspiring place better for wildlife, and better for those who take joy from the wildlife and beauty of this extraordinary place. The project will expand the Caledonian pine forest to its natural limit, reinstate drained wetlands, naturalise rivers and restore huge tracts of peatland, to create an amazing place for nature - a home to eagles, wildcats, pine martens, ospreys, black grouse, ptarmigan, otters and curlews.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated residential volunteer to assist with ecological monitoring as part of the Cairngorms Connect project. With funding from the Endangered Landscapes Programme, we have an exciting programme of research, monitoring and management work taking place during 2019-2023. As Assistant Monitoring Officer, you will contribute to the collection of long-term monitoring data, with a particular focus on moths, deadwood beetles and upland vegetation. You will spend the majority of your time in the field, but will also assist with desk-based tasks such as data entry.

This is an exciting opportunity for anyone wishing to pursue a career in ecological monitoring or conservation science. You will gain valuable field skills and experience in a wide range of types of ecological monitoring. We will provide on-the-job training in skills such as moth ID, vegetation surveys, and bird point counts. In addition, we will offer formal training and qualifications in aspects such as hill skills, 4x4 driving and first aid.

The most important things you'll need to bring to the role are enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. We need you to be happy to walk long distances over rough mountainous terrain in all weathers carrying a heavy pack, and willing to camp out in remote areas on occasion. You need to be able to remain positive in the face of adversity! (dawn starts, bad weather, midges). Ideally you would have some experience of taxonomy (particularly moths, birds, saproxylic beetles, or upland plants); you don't need to be an expert already, but you do need to have a good attention to detail and a desire to learn. You'll also need a full clean driving licence.

The accommodation for this post will be at RSPB Abernethy (Forest Lodge). The work itself will take place over the full Cairngorms Connect project area.

This is a Partnership project involving Wildland Limited, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland & Forestry and Land Scotland, with funding from The Endangered Landscape Programme and other partners.

Your Commitment
Minimum: 26 weeks
Duration: 6 months
Period: March – September 2020

Closing date: 18th December 2019

How to apply
Please contact Pip Gullett by email in the first instance and attach a copy of your CV. (

Interviews will be conducted for this opportunity, date and time to be confirmed.

Appropriate training will be provided and pre-arranged expenses will be reimbursed where necessary.
Your time and skills could make a real difference to the work of the project and it would be great if you could join us.

Who to contact
For questions about this post, contact Pip Gullett:
Tel: 01479 861876 or 07548 156059

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