Job description

About the opportunity

This exceptional residential volunteering opportunity is designed to provide a strong basis for a career in woodland management and wildlife conservation.

What are we looking for?

Coombes Valley is a peaceful woodland reserve, four miles east of Leek in Staffordshire. It is famous for its population of pied flycatchers, and variety of invertebrate life and is a great place to develop your natural history skills. It receives 10,000 visitors a year and has a small un-staffed visitor centre. As there is a very small team on this reserve, interns will play a prominent role and be required to use their initiative.

Practical Considerations

Overall purpose of the role

1. Throughout the duration of the volunteering you would be expected to:
Deliver nature conservation on the ground as part of the team carrying out the day-to-day management of the reserve, and ensuring that it is maintained to the high standard expected of RSPB.

2. Assist the team to carry out the weekly work programme of habitat management and estate work which may include: •
- Woodland Management •
- Maintaining gates, stiles, bridges and boardwalks •
- Fencing
- Footpath Maintenance and repairs

3. Assisting as part of a small reserve team day to day management and admin tasks such as:
- Entering biological records into the RSPBGIS programme, Merlin •
- Maintaining visitor facilities on a rota basis including basic cleaning of visitor reception area and toilets •
- Assisting with Quality Assurance checks to maintain high standards of facilities
- Assisting when required with reserve events

The skills you need

-The ability to work in a team 
- Enthusiasm for wildlife and conservation (specialist knowledge not necessary)

-Some previous experience of practical work
- Volunteering experience 
- A full driving licence

What's in it for you?

- Excellent practical experience of volunteering on a nature reserve and managing different habitats for wildlife •
- Training & qualifications in the use of chainsaws
- Relevant first aid qualification •
- Training & experience in specialist computer applications e.g. Merlin GIS •
- Experience of working in a team and supervising other volunteers •
- A working knowledge of the RSPB and conservation issues •
- Some experience of other aspects of a reserve such as visitor services and events
- Free accommodation in stunning surroundings on the reserve
- Appropriate training will be provided and pre-agreed expenses will be reimbursed where necessary.


We look forward to welcoming you to the RSPB, the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe. We can help you develop a strong skillset towards personal and professional development. We save birds and other wildlife. We save the environment. We connect people with nature. We never give up, we get things done; making changes for the better, for wildlife and for people.


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Posted on: 12 July 2019
Closed date: 10 October 2019
Tags: Training, Practitioner