Spurn Bird Observatory

Job opportunity: Spurn Bird Observatory – Observatory Estate Worker

06 February 2018

We are looking for an enthusiastic birder with a big ‘Can Do’ attitude to help deliver habitat management on the Observatory’s land, maintenance work around the Observatory and provide essential support to the long-standing bird-monitoring programme here at Spurn Bird Observatory, one of the UK’s premier Bird Observatories. We are looking for a highly motivated person who is seeking to make a career in the area of practical conservation.

You will work under the direction of the warden closely supported by a member of the committee and the post will involve a wide variety of jobs. You will be expected to be able to adapt to a flexible working pattern.

The work at times will be demanding but it will be incredibly rewarding providing you with the opportunity to use and develop a range of skills and provide a memorable experience, whilst being a key player at the Observatory with the opportunity to go birding at one of the best places for migration in the UK.

Qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience required:


1. Competent in British bird identification including calls.
2. Practical land management experience.
3. Record keeping.
4. Ability to confidently use a range of computer applications- Word, Excel, Outlook and Social Media/WhatsApp.
5. A willingness to work flexibly and responsively to meet changing day-to-day circumstances at the Observatory.
6. Ability to work effectively as a team player.
7. Effective communication skills (verbal, written and presentational) – including an ability to speak confidently and cogently in public to a variety of audiences.
8. Customer care.


1. Proven ability to organise and run events.
2. Lead and assist guided walks of birders of a wide range of abilities.
3. Lantra or equivalent qualification in chainsaws and/or brush cutters.
4. Identification skills of other flora and fauna groups or a willingness to develop these i.e. Dragonflies and Damselflies, Butterflies and Moths, Plants, Mammals etc.
5. Driving licence/access to a vehicle.
6. Experience of Trektellen.

Regular Duties we would expect from you

The following list is not exhaustive and due to the ever-changing nature of working in a Bird Observatory, you will be expected to carry out tasks that are not detailed below. However, the tasks detailed below will form the bulk of your duties in this role. The type of work will vary depending on the season with more recording and survey work spring-autumn and maintenance increasing in the winter.

• General Habitat management & development of Spurn Bird Observatory owned land
• General maintenance of the Observatory building and Kew Villa Caravan site
• Bird monitoring focusing on the peninsula/point area, WeBS/BBS counts.
• Daily bird log
• Daily updates of Website/Trektellen
• Using the Bird Observatory’s Social Media accounts (Twitter and Facebook)
• Support the Warden with any duties as required
• Assorted admin work associated with the Observatory and Friends of Spurn
• Carry out guided bird walks
• Maintenance of ringing areas/Heligoland traps
• Meet and greet visitors to the Observatory
• Maintain and take bookings for Observatory/Caravan site
• Assisting the Little Tern project/wardens during the breeding season
• Maintain the Rota of volunteers for the Spurn ‘shop’ and fill in during busy times


You will be on a 35-hour week contract, though extra hours will be expected at busy times, working hours will be flexible.


£13,431.60 – £14,250.60 per annum dependant on age.
You will be entitled to 25 days paid holiday leave including bank holidays.


Accommodation is provided at Kew Villa for a rental charge of £300 per calendar month with all bills included. This is shared accommodation with the Warden and you will have your own bedroom.

This is a very exciting opportunity to be part of one of Britain’s premier bird observatories at arguably the best bird migration hotspots in the UK. During your time at the Observatory, you will develop and learn skills that will be ideal for those looking for a future in the field of Ornithology/Conservation. Rare birds are almost guaranteed at Spurn so someone who is keen to share news and help others see these birds would be ideal.

Additional information:

• This role is based in a remote and rural location.
• This role will involve lone working.
• Additional training will be given to carry out some duties
• This role is physically demanding, you will be expected to be able to spend long days in the field and carry out physically demanding tasks.
• This role will require regular weekend and evening working.
• There are a lot of Brown-tail moth caterpillars present in the Spurn area, mainly along the peninsula. You will need to be aware of their presence.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter to email the closing date for applications is 28th February 2018 with interviews expected to take place in early March.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to get in touch on email or via our Chairman, Rob Adams on 07970 235 255.

Job opportunity:  Spurn Bird Observatory – Observatory Estate Worker
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