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Assistant Wardens have to be ready for all working environments

Position Title:       Assistant Warden

Position Type: 8 month placement contract – March-October 2017 (shorter term placements may be considered for the right candidate)
Terms of contract: Full time volunteer
Closing Date: 21st December 2016
Website: www.alderneybirdobservatory.org / www.alderneywildlife.org
Contact: John Horton
Contact Telephone: +44 (0)1481 822935
Contact email: abowarden@alderneywildlife.org
Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Islands and is the closest island to both the UK and French coastlines. The Alderney Wildlife Trust (AWT) promotes the conservation of Alderney’s terrestrial and marine wildlife and associated habitats, to this end the Alderney Bird Observatory (ABO) was founded in March 2016. 2017 is the ABO’s second, and final pilot year, after which it will apply for full accreditation from the Bird Observatory Council to become a fully-fledged observatory.

The role of the Assistant Warden is to assist the Warden in the running of the bird observatory on the island of Alderney. The job is best suited to a licensed ringer, or at least a keen birder with some ringing experience. The range of birds caught since March 2016 can be found at the ABO website www.alderneybirdobservatory.org. Large numbers of passerines are anticipated and over 13,000 birds in total were ringed during 2016.

The opportunity exists, if requested, to be assessed by the warden for a ringing licence upgrade during your stay.

The position is voluntary, dependent self-catering accommodation (a private room and shared bathroom) is provided at basic cost with some financial support offered. There is opportunity to take part-time work on island to sustain your stay if necessary, and the Trust has experience in support this sort of split working practice.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the development of a brand new bird observatory which is showing the potential of being one of the British Isles least studied, yet busiest bird migration hotspots.

The main duties of the Assistant Warden include:

  • ringing migrant birds on passage in spring and autumn and ringing breeding seabirds (mostly Gannets, Shags, gulls and Storm Petrels)
  • data entry (ringing and census data)
  • monitoring and recording the island’s visual bird migration and other wildlife
  • to helping maintain ABO sites and facilities
  • assisting the warden dealing with visitors, helping with tours and talks and general maintenance of the observatory will be necessary
  • to work alongside the AWT reserves team and conservation volunteers.

N.b. There is also the opportunity for trapping and monitoring moths and to get involved with other AWT projects and activities taking place on the island.

Essential qualities:

  • Ideally a UK ‘C bird ringing permit’ (equivalent permits gained from other European schemes are welcome) or above; consideration may be given to T-permit holders with relevant experience.
  • Relevant Conservation qualifications and field experience including field survey skills for birds. Field survey skills for other taxa would be desirable.
  • Be willing to learn on the job, be intuitive, show initiative and enthusiasm.
  • An ability to work in physically testing conditions.
  • A knowledge of resident British Birds as a minimum
  • A sense of humour.

Desirable qualities:

  • Be very self-motivated and expect to work long hours running the bird ringing, when conditions are favourable
  • Be physically fit and in good health.
  • Have a full clean driving licence.
  • Be able to engage and interact with the public, up to and including running events, giving talks and presentations
  • Have an outgoing personality and be able to integrate quickly into an established team and the wider tight knit island community.
  • The post may suite an active recently retired person, a recent graduate looking for experience or someone looking to develop their skills.

The structure of the post will be as follows:

  • Those undertaking a placement role for the ABO act as full-time (unpaid) members of AWT’s staff, with all the responsibilities this brings.
  • The working week will centre on the ABO, especially the daily ringing effort. However, wherever possible, the AWT will allow job flexibility recognising the need for placement staff to obtain paid work to enable their stay on the island.
  • The placement will be for an 8-month contract (negotiable), ideally beginning 1 March 2017.
  • Self-Catering accommodation will be at the Essex Farm Field Centre (inclusive of private room, Wi-Fi access, shared kitchen and sitting-room and office facilities), including utilities, will be included with this placement.
  • The placement comes with 1 return flight, or equivalent, to the UK included (up to a total value of £220)

How to Apply

Please download and complete the application form and return it to abowarden@alderneywildlife.org. The provision of a CV is optional; however, we do ask for a short covering letter (maximum of one side of A4) laying out what you think makes you suitable for this job and what benefit you would take from its undertaking.

If you would like further details regarding the role you can contact abowarden@alderneywildlife.orgor call +44 (0) 1481 822935.

The AWT regrets that as a small charity it may not be able to respond to all applications upon receipt.

Initial interviews will be undertaken by Skype or by telephone.

The successful candidate and all other applicants will be informed of the final decision as soon as possible. The successful candidate will be expected to commence the placement at the earliest possible opportunity.