RSPB • Loch Gruinart

Peatland Restoration Field Officer, Argyll Islands

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £19305 - £21417 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

This exciting new role within our Islay reserve team, managed by the Peatland Project Manager Argyll Island reserves, will deliver the implementation of large-scale peatland restoration projects at the RSPB's nature reserves of the Oa and Loch Gruinart, both situated on the Island of Islay in the beautiful Argyll Islands, as well as projects on other islands and mainland sites. This is a full-time, fixed-term contract for 3 years.

What's the role about?

This exciting new role within our Islay area reserve team, managed by the Peatland Project Manager Argyll Islands reserves, will deliver the implementation of large-scale peatland restoration projects at the RSPB’s nature reserves at the Oa and Loch Gruinart, both situated on the Island of Islay in the beautiful Argyll Islands, as well as projects on other islands and mainland sites. Peatland restoration work is an important part of RSPB’s conservation management objectives.

The RSPB Islay reserves are complex sites delivering conservation within a wide range of habitats for a number of key species. The reserves are actively farmed by RSPB to enable the creation and management of important habitats. Within the 4598Ha of the reserve network, there is a large area of peatland habitat.
The main peatland areas for restoration are within the boundaries of the RSPB’s Oa and Loch Gruinart reserves in the South and North of Islay. Other sites within the Islay and Argyll reserve network will also be included in restoration. The work is both novel and sensitive and falls within a very varied landscape.

This role will cover a range of outdoor activities including mapping and ground truthing potential work, measuring and marking out restoration features for work ahead of the digger contractors, managing contractors, completing vegetation and protected species surveys, peat depth measurements, and post restoration monitoring. This post will also assist the Project Manager with funding applications, planning applications and consents. It will also be important to meet essential report deadlines and satisfy our funding obligations. Much of this work will take place in remote moorland terrain and at times in harsh weather conditions.

This role will help enable the physical delivery of peatland restoration, translating green finance mechanisms into reality and helping to address issues facing the climate and biodiversity.

The post will be based at the Islay office on the RSPB’s Loch Gruinart nature reserve, and will require regular (more than weekly, occasionally daily) site visits during some project phases, but some working from home will be possible at other times.

What we need from you


• Knowledge of peatland habitats to enable credibility in the role.
• Knowledge of delivery mechanisms for peatland conservation work e.g Peatland Action Fund.
• Organisational skills e.g. maintenance and analysis of datasets, and managing conflicting priorities.
• Ability to work effectively as a team player both internally and externally.
• Effective communication skills (verbal, written and presentational) – including an ability to speak confidently to a variety of audiences.
• Experience of working to survey, protect and/or manage important sites or habitats.
• A high level of fitness and ability to confidently and safely access and work in remote upland areas, which can be inaccessible to vehicles, in challenging terrain and adverse weather conditions
• Ability to be self-motivated and work efficiently within a defined workplan.


• Ability to use Microsoft Office apps and experience of GIS for mapping.
• Ability to rapidly analyse significant quantities of information, priorities and balance a diverse workload often to tight deadlines.
• Knowledge of wildlife and habitats of the operational area of this role.

Additional Information

This is a Fixed-Term/ Full-Time role for 37.5 hours per week.

The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 16/01/2023. For further information please contact james.how@rspb.org.uk

As part of this application process, you will be asked to complete an application form including evidence of how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

This role is not eligible for UK Visa Sponsorship – the successful applicant will need to have pre-existing Right to Work in the UK in order to be offered an employment contract.

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

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.

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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I feel the RSPB is very flexible and this is reflected through the Line Management chain - I know I have the flexibility on a daily basis to start early / finish late, if something crops up at home - I am very satisfied :)

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