Warden - Mainland Orkney reserves

3–4 days per week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Employment type
Full time
£26180 - £29043 per annum


We manage a suite of 13 nature reserves conserving a range of habitats from wetlands to uplands and priority species including seabirds, breeding waders, corncrakes and hen harriers.

What’s the role about

As an Orkney mainland warden you will be part of a small team delivering the management plan work programmes for our reserves across Orkney. Main tasks include co-ordination and delivery of the reserves land management objectives, ensuring high standards of health and safety, legal compliance and associated record keeping whilst monitoring some of our key species annually in sometimes remote areas. Our primary habitat management is delivered through a number of annual grazing lets and four agri-environment schemes for individual reserves which need to be administered and managed on the ground as part of this role. Other tasks will include; project management, supervision of contractors, providing a quality visitor experience, report writing and other associated administration, working as part of a team and assisting in managing and inspiring local volunteers. A variety of machinery & equipment is required to be used for habitat management work from fencing pliers, brushcutters to tractors.

The post will be based from the Stromness office and will work with support from the Site Manager and the wider Orkney team to achieve the ambitious plans for the reserves. You will need to be able to lone work, use your initiative at times to problem solve, be an active team player with excellent organisational and people skills. In particular, we are looking to fill this post with a person who has experience of a variety of land management, knowledge of relevant livestock & farming systems & schemes, bird and other wildlife surveying. There may be occasional weekend, early morning or evening work but this will not be on a regular basis and is seasonal.

Key activities will include:

· Take responsibility for the implementation of the reserve management plans including habitat management, record keeping and livestock/grazing where relevant to ensure delivery of site’s/sites’ and RSPB conservation objectives and compliance obligations.

· Undertake and oversee species/habitat survey and monitoring work on the site/s to ensure delivery of site’s/sites’ objectives.

What we need from you?

This role will suit an applicant with: an interest in wildlife and land management, with proven bird monitoring skills, agricultural and livestock experience and good communication skills. The applicant should enjoy working with others as part of a team or independently when required, as well as being able to cope with the physical demands of the role in a variety of habitats and weather conditions.

We are looking for applicants who meet the following criteria:

• Relevant conservation (including grazing), ecological and land management experience.
• Practical agricultural and livestock management experience and knowledge to enable you to deliver agri-environment schemes desirable.
• Experience of wetland and/or upland management in the UK
• Experience of living and working in remote areas within small communities would be an advantage.
• A proven track record in biological monitoring techniques relevant to the role.
• Relevant knowledge and application of health and safety standards, compliance requirements associated with agricultural and environmental legislation with particular reference to grazing livestock.
• Good communication skills and computer literacy which includes record keeping and data management.
• Proven ability to work in a team and to build collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders including farmers, suppliers, neighbours, colleagues, contractors and regulators.
• Machinery operational experience on a variety of relevant equipment, and an ability to carry out tool and machinery maintenance is desirable.
• Good practical estate skills, such as fencing and maintaining reserves visitor infrastructure.
• Experience of managing and engaging volunteers and supervising volunteer work parties.
• Public engagement experience, particularly involvement with visitor events.

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

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 1st November, 2022. For further information please contact alan.leitch@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 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.

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3–4 days per week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly