As the season for residential volunteering on Ramsey comes to a close, we’re already thinking about plans for next year. 2018 will be special for the island as it will be 25 years since RSPB took ownership and opened it to the public.
It is true that Ramsey, like many of our iconic reserves has a loyal team of regular volunteers who come out to the island annually for anything from 2 weeks to 6 months. With just two members of staff Ramsey is heavily reliant on our volunteer team to help us engage with visitors and implement all aspects of the reserve management plan.
But if you’ve never volunteered on Ramsey before don’t be put off. We are always looking for new and enthusiastic volunteers to become part of the Ramsey family. We are taking provisional bookings throughout October for placements starting from April 2018, so why not send in your application and give island living a go. All the information you need can be found here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
And if you’re still not convinced here’s the thoughts of RSPB Cymru volunteer Steve Bool after his 6 week residential stay on Ramsey this summer:
“As an RSPB volunteer Ramsey Island must be one of the most desirable and iconic reserves to visit in the UK. It is the one where I have volunteered for 6 years so there must be something special. I think phrases such as ‘an assault on the senses’ and ‘magical wildlife experiences’ spring to mind and whilst there are the inevitable windy and wet blanket days these are far surpassed by the spectacular wildlife and the days when the fantastic scenery and aquamarine seas, including the renowned Ramsey Sound and the Bitches, provide an experience to cherish.
Where else would you be able from your volunteer accommodation to see chough, peregrine, little owl and through the night hear the eerie call of Manx shearwater and seals, along with the rustling of voles and shrews in the bedroom! Magnificent red deer also roam the island giving you a pleasant surprise on your trip to the compost bin.
Our duties involve monitoring some of these wonderful creatures and even measuring the grass sward to ensure the management of the island is suitable for the chough. One of our main objectives is to ensure visitors to the island by boat arrive and leave the island safely and have an informative and interesting visit. To hear visitors express their experience as one of the best in their lifetime is very satisfying and many leave energised and enthused with nature and wildlife. Every volunteer is different and brings individual skills such as DIY, people management and even sewing skills, giving valuable assistance to the wardens Greg and Lisa to manage the reserve.
Ramsey Island offers a unique opportunity for the enthusiastic volunteer, it cannot get any better and it is all for free ----so take it!!”