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Volunteer Field Assistants – Seabirds, Mingulay

Grant RW Humphries, May 3, 2014

The National Trust for Scotland is looking for volunteer field assistants to help with seabird monitoring activities and cetacean sighting on Mingulay in the Outer Hebrides, from mid-May to late August 2014. One volunteer is required for 1-month between mid-May to mid June, mid-June to mid-July and early August to late August.

The seabird monitoring involves working in remote locations on steep terrain and it is essential that safe working practices are strictly maintained at all times. As the colonies are located up to two miles from the village, considerable walking over hilly terrain will be required, demanding a high level of physical fitness. The daily work schedule will be variable and often weather dependent, therefore expect some days to include long hours.

Applicants should be studying or have a degree, preferably in conservation biology, ecology or a related field. No previous seabird experience is required. Accommodation is provided within the recently converted schoolhouse and consists of two private bedrooms and a communal bunkroom with a shared kitchen/living room. There is an outside tap and toilet. A small generator provides electricity. There is no internet or mobile phone access on the island however there is a satellite telephone that can be used to receive calls and send occasional texts. The Trust will provide transport to Mingulay from Barra but applicants are expected to make their own way to Barra. Food during your stay is not provided.

The uninhabited islands of Mingulay and Berneray are a Special Protection Area for their seabird colony, which includes the largest colony of razorbills in Europe. Other species present include puffins, fulmars, guillemots, kittiwakes, shags and great skuas. Mingulay has a dramatic landscape with some truly spectacular sea cliffs and stacks on its western coast and a sheltered, fertile bay in the east where the ruined village is located; and regular boat service from Barra during the summer months brings parties of day visitors.

To apply, please email your CV and a covering letter with two references to: Rob Dunn at Please state for which periods you are applying for.

This position will remain open until qualified candidates are identified.