At Beinn Eighe and Loch Maree Islands NNR we really value the help of volunteers. There is always a lot going on. Volunteers help us with a range of tasks such as practical estate management as well as survey and monitoring. We welcome a small number of residential volunteers each year. We are also keen to hear from you if you live locally and would like to volunteer with us.
We are looking for volunteers to assist us with managing the reserve. Your role will be related to practical work as well as some survey work. This will mainly consist of outdoor tasks, including:
- Tree nursery work – we have our own tree nursery where we grow local provenance trees from seed collected on the NNR.
- Woodland management – we have an ongoing programme of woodland management and restructuring of planted pine woods.
- Deer management – in order to maintain natural processes we manage wild deer through a deer cull which is informed by impact monitoring.
- Removal of non-native plant species.
- Path maintenance to allow visitors to enjoy the ancient pine woods and the mountain trails.
- Visitor management.
The Beinn Eighe and Loch Maree Islands National Nature Reserve (NNR) is situated near Kinlochewe, in North West Scotland. It is widely considered some of the most inspiring scenery in Britain, it is surrounded by mountains and close to the coast.
There will be a small number of volunteer placements available throughout the year, each for a minimum of 1 month, the more time you stay with us the more jobs you will be likely to experience and the more you will learn.
Volunteers will need to be available between the hours of 8am & 5pm four days a week, usually Monday to Thursday and 8am & 12pm on Friday. Our team’s work requires flexibility so times may vary.
If you will be carrying out research to contribute to your own studies, we can discuss the time you can allocate to this as well as any resources you need beforehand and we will do our best to accommodate to your requirements.
You will volunteer with the reserve staff team and often, in the company of a number of other volunteers. Sometimes you will be asked to carry out manageable tasks on your own. We have a tight knit team here with a wide variety of knowledge, who will provide you with training and ongoing support.
What will the experience provide?
Volunteering at this reserve will give you the opportunity to work in this beautiful environment with skilled practitioners, discovering new capabilities and learning new skills. This is an excellent chance to gain work experience and develop new skills, which can be an important route into future employment with the natural heritage. Volunteering here will give you the chance to get involved at this wonderful site; you will be part of transforming the landscape, helping to manage it for nature and the public.
You need to be at least 18 years old to volunteer with us. You'll be personable, approachable, enthusiastic and a good communicator, including having a fluent level of spoken English. You’ll have a strong interest in conservation and a knowledge of Scotland’s natural heritage. You need to be a good team-worker, respecting others. You’ll be physically fit and have a responsible attitude to health and safety, complying with procedures designed to keep you and others safe. You’ll be willing to work outdoors in all weathers, keen to learn and adaptable.
We have a hostel for volunteers beside the reserve office at Kinlochewe. Information on facilities in the hostel can be found below.
Alternatively there are campsites at Kinlochewe and Taagan which are both about 1 mile from the office. There may be rooms or houses to let in the surrounding area such as Kinlochewe or Achnasheen. The local newspaper, Gairloch Times, could be consulted for these (SNH does not pay for accommodation for volunteers).
Volunteer accommodation and facilities
Accommodation is available in a Field Centre with hostel style accommodation where up to 14 volunteers can stay. It is mostly dormitory layout. The bedrooms are all up stairs (no lift nor stair lift). Use of the accommodation needs to be arranged in advance with the reserve manager as part of a volunteer role. There is no charge for volunteers but in return you will need to commit to volunteering for a minimum amount of time per week on the reserve. Facilities include: drying room, washing machine, cooker, fridge-freezer, kitchen utensils, crockery, pay-phone, television.
You will need to bring your own sleeping bag/bed linen, pillow and towels. An equipped kitchen is available but volunteers need to provide their own food and drink. Volunteers have to keep their accommodation clean and tidy.
Public transport is very limited. The Reserve is fairly isolated being 1 mile from the nearest small shop in Kinlochewe and 20 miles from several shops, a bank and a pharmacy in Gairloch.
The best source of information on the reserve is The Story of Beinn Eighe NNR.
How to apply
Please complete an Expression of Interest form and return it to Alison Rowe ([email protected]). The most suitable Expressions of Interest will lead to a telephone discussion, interview and / or site visit after which suitable volunteers will be selected.
Disclaimer: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has changed its name to NatureScot as of the 24th August 2020.
At the time of publishing, this document may still refer to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and include the original branding. It may also contain broken links to the old domain.
If you have any issues accessing this document please contact us via our feedback form.