RSPB • RSPB Scotland - Inverness

Loch Ruthven Summer Ranger

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £21622 - £23987 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

Loch Ruthven is one of the best places in the UK to see the rare and protected Slavonian grebes during the breeding season. The role is an excellent opportunity to help protect these birds by engaging with visitors to the nature reserve and encouraging responsible access.

What’s the role about

This role will involve providing a RSPB presence at our Loch Ruthven nature reserve during the summer season in 2022. Whilst the reserve is not actively promoted and usually receives only 4,000 visitors annually, there has been a substantial increase in visitor use in the last three years.

The RSPB wants people to enjoy the reserve, whilst protecting the rare Slavonian grebes from disturbance so that they have the best chance of a successful breeding season. This role will be working with visitors to provide on-hand communication and advice about Slavonian grebes and responsible access, talking with people in clear, positive, engaging, and persuasive ways to encourage responsible use of the reserve. This will include working to reduce the impact of irresponsible behaviour such as informal camping with fires, littering and disturbance to breeding birds. Engaging with water users will be a key part of this role.

You will also help visitors to enjoy viewing the Slavonian grebes, including managing the use of the small hide under Covid-19 protocols whilst government legislation and guidance are in place. You may also be required to undertake, or assist with, minor maintenance works such as renewing signage or repairing fencing.

We are a small, busy reserve team managing seven nature reserves across the Highlands between us, including major habitat management projects. You will be resourceful and resilient, working at the reserve by yourself much of the time but with support from the rest of the reserve team. You will also work in conjunction with the Loch Ruthven volunteer team, who are managed by the reserve warden. During quieter periods at Loch Ruthven, there will also be opportunities to work on some of the other reserves, particularly helping out with infrastructure maintenance. Some office work will be required, for example preparing signage, emails and occasional meetings.

This is a full-time role, 37.5 hours per week, with required working days Friday to Monday, and other days/hours flexible.

What we need from you


  • Computer literate
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, to a range of audiences.
  • Able to deal with challenging situations in a clear, positive and engaging way. Diplomatic and negotiating skills.
  • Problem solving skills and ability to work under own initiative.
  • Have a flexible approach to working hours required within 37.5-hour week, which will require weekend, evening and morning working.
  • Ability to travel to remote locations without the use of public transport.
  • Desirables:

  • Knowledge of the Scottish Outdoor Access code and general countryside issues
  • Basic maintenance skills e.g. installing signage, basic fencing.
  • A working knowledge of visitor management and engagement techniques and/or some experience of working outdoors as a countryside ranger or similar
  • Additional Information

    This is a fixed-term contract ending - on 1st September 2023 - The RSPB reserves the right to extend this contract or make it permanent at any time.

    For all role/application enquiries please contact - isabel.morgan@rspb.org.uk

    Please note that to apply, you will be required to only complete an application form where you will have the opportunity to tell us how you meet the criteria set above,

    Interviews will be held at the RSPB Inverness Office.

    Before applying, please read through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.

    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 currently underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and conservation sector. If you identify as a person of colour and/or disabled, we are particularly interested in receiving your application. Contact us to discuss any additional support you may need to complete your application.

    Company benefits

    Open to part-time employees
    Open to compressed hours
    Enhanced maternity leave
    Enhanced paternity leave
    Adoption leave
    Shared parental leave
    24 days annual leave + bank holidays
    Enhanced sick pay

    The FlexScore® is the result of a rigorous 2-step verification of a company’s flexibility

    First we assess the flexibility options RSPB provides and then we anonymously survey a statistically significant proportion of their employees to make sure RSPB is as flexible as they say they are. Our assessment is based on the six key elements of flexibility: location, hours, autonomy, benefits, role modelling and work-life balance.

    We ask the hard questions so you don’t have to.

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    Flexa100 2023

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