RSPB • East Norfolk & North Suffolk

Senior Beach Warden (Fixed-Term)

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

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

After a record-breaking season in 2022, we have an exciting opportunity to join our east Norfolk and north Suffolk beach-nesting bird team. The project protects up to 43% of the UK’s little terns, as well as significant numbers of ringed plovers. The east Norfolk colonies have become some of the largest and highest priority in the UK, yet face significant challenges from a range of disturbance pressures. We are seeking a passionate, dedicated and inspiring individual, with great communication skills, to build on the project’s success during the 2023 breeding season.

If you are interested in making a significant contribution to the conservation of beach-nesting birds, then this may be the role for you!

What's the role about?

The Senior Beach Warden will be part of the Norfolk and Lincolnshire Conservation Team working closely with our Broads reserves and Suffolk Area teams. The post will be based close to the east Norfolk coast. The work will be largely field-based on the colonies, but with some office work undertaken from Strumpshaw Fen, our Norwich office and home. Given the remote locations and limited public transport, the ability to drive is essential for this role.

The Senior Beach Warden will be managed by our Beach-nesting Bird Team Leader, supporting them to ensure appropriate and effective management and monitoring is implemented around the colonies. manage the rota for up to seven staff and a dedicated team of 20-30 volunteers to protect and monitor beach-nesting birds at three main sites: Eccles-on-Sea, Winterton-on-Sea and Kessingland. They will be expected to implement the management plan for the project. The role will involve the following work:

• Colony management – ensuring all colony infrastructure is in place and functioning to enable 24-hour wardening presence on all colonies where this is needed, ensuring high standards of health and safety and welfare are maintained in challenging conditions.
• Maintaining rotas to ensure safe working – work with the Team Leader to ensure that staff and volunteers are effectively deployed to cover day and night shifts safely.
• Kestrel diversionary feeding – work with the Community & Volunteer Engagement Officer to oversee the work of the volunteer team locating kestrel nest sites and ensuring effective diversionary feeding techniques are implemented, as needed, to limit predation on colonies.
• Volunteer development – support, as needed, the Community & Volunteer Project Officer to build the monitoring and management capabilities of the volunteer team.
• Communications – support the Team Leader on the promotion of the project to highlight successes and seek to develop appropriate behaviours around the colonies.
• Relationships – work closely with a range of colleagues and partners to generate support for the project and help to resource the work.
• End of season reporting – support the Team Leader in producing the end of season report.

This project has been running since 1986 and has huge potential to further develop significant opportunities to work with people of all ages and abilities. From active colony management and community engagement to remote activities such as coordinating volunteers, developing our monitoring apps and writing communication material, there is a huge potential to diversify how people engage with the project and ensuring that it is as inclusive as possible. The Senior Beach Warden will work closely with the Team Leader to develop appropriate opportunities.

The project is an important piece of work within The Broads and the Suffolk Coast Priority Landscapes. Priority Landscapes are the RSPB’s approach to delivering conservation at scale and provides a focus to direct our resources where they will have the greatest impact. The delivery of this work is a priority both locally and nationally for the RSPB.

This is an exciting time in the projects evolution and if you feel this is the role for you we look forward to hearing from you!

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

1. Relevant degree or equivalent experience of species recovery projects.
2. Demonstrable practical field skills appropriate to the post, eg specialist identification, public interviews.
3. Ability to use own initiative to solve day-to-day problems in the field.
4. Experience of ability to manage a work programme and deploy resources efficiently and effectively to achieve objectives.
5. Excellent interpersonal skills with the tact, diplomacy and negotiating skills to manage staff and develop and maintain good relations with the owners/managers of land on which the team is working.
6. Skilled use of Microsoft Office and ability to organise and manage large data sets.
7. Able to travel to remote locations without the use of public transport.

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

8. Specialist conservation knowledge of habitats, species and environmental processes relevant to east Norfolk and north Suffolk, notably, seabirds.
9. Knowledge of, and adherence to, legal and practical requirements for maintaining health and safety, sometimes in challenging field conditions, for instance, working with the public, lone working.
10. Knowledge of licensing and regulations surrounding field work, for instance, on protected species in protected habitats or when surveying people.
11. Demonstrable experience of relevant research or survey techniques of a standard that provides the highest quality data.
12. Able to drive ATV and experience towing trailers.

This is a 6-month fixed-term role for 37.5 hours per week running from March to September 2023.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position on 9th February 2023. For further information please contact Philip.pearson@rspb.org.uk

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

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

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.

Working at RSPB

Company employees


Gender diversity (male:female)


Office locations

Across all 4 UK Countries

Hiring Countries

United Kingdom
Awards & Achievements
Most flexible Charity & Tech For Good companies – 2nd

Most flexible Charity & Tech For Good companies – 2nd

Industry awards 2022