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Wessex Stone-Curlew Project Field Officer

Reference number: A5090220

Location: Wiltshire

Stone-curlew; goggle-eyed plover; wailing heath-chicken: very few people have the chance to get up close and personal with this bizarre and charismatic bird. Now's your chance! We're looking for a dedicated and enthusiastic naturalist to join our team surveying and protecting stone-curlews in the Wessex area.

The species has declined in the UK over the last century, with the population now split between the Brecks in East Anglia and the Wessex area. In Wessex, numbers fell to around 30 pairs in the 1980s, centred on Salisbury Plain. Thirty years of conservation efforts have seen the population recover, with the RSPB working closely with landowners and farmers, including the MoD, to provide suitable habitat for breeding pairs. The work has been very successful with the population in Wessex now approaching 150 pairs. Despite this, there is still a need to monitor the species and protect vulnerable nests.

The Field Officer will be part of a small team of staff and volunteers surveying for stone-curlew. Although based in the Salisbury Office, most of the time will be spent out in the field in the area around Salisbury Plain. The work includes locating stone-curlew, monitoring breeding attempts, finding nests, liaising with farmers and landowners, and carrying out intervention measures on vulnerable sites. There will also be data collection and reporting involved.

Good field skills and previous experience of bird survey work are needed for this tricky and sneaky bird, and a driving license is essential to access the various survey sites. You will be adept at managing your time around the best of the British weather, with flexibility to respond to farmers and other colleagues as needed. Although you will often be working alone using your initiative, you will also have good communication skills and be willing to engage with the farming community and our volunteers. Talking confidently with farmers is a critical aspect of the role as their support has been fundamental to the success of the project. Discretion is also needed as you will be working on private land and under license with a protected species. Some evening and weekend work will be required, but if you enjoy spending a summer's evening in a stunning location while watching farmland wildlife then this could be the role for you!

The job begins on 6th April and runs full-time until 4th September. What a way to spend a summer!

Salary starting at

£16,504 to £17,880 Per Annum Pro Rata

Hours & contract information

Hours: Full time
Contract: 5 Months

Closing date: 21 February 2020
Interview date: 3 March 2020

How to apply

Our job information pack and accompanying role profile tell you all about the key result areas and the skills and experience needed for the role. Please make sure you include reference number A5090220 on your application.

Role Profile (Word 131Kb, requires Microsoft Word)

Job information pack (PDF 344Kb, requires Adobe Reader)

Application details (Word 33Kb, requires Microsoft Word)

This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You will be asked to declare unspent convictions and cautions at offer of employment stage.

Who to contact

For questions about this post
Nick Tomalin

Send application details to
Barbara Bodkin