Operations Manager Vacancy

We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic, organised and experienced individual to lead our day-to-day running here at Spurn Bird Observatory. We’re looking for someone to be part of an amazing community of local birders, identifying, recording, and enjoying the wide range of birds that pass through the Spurn area in any given year.

We run a busy and thriving hostel, with birders visiting from all over the UK, especially so in spring and autumn. We own an ever-increasing proportion of land in the area surrounding the Observatory and look to manage that for the conservation of wildlife in the area. Our membership base, which is the beating heart of the Observatory now stands at over 1100 members and continues to increase year on year.

The successful candidate will help to deliver many of the different projects the Observatory currently runs including Motus tracking network, Little Tern protection, BTO WeBS counts, standardised point counts, Spurn Migration Festival, guided walks and ringing demonstrations as well as looking to further develop these projects as opportunities arise.

As such we are now seeking to employ a full-time onsite Operations Manager to help maintain this high level of activity and to help continue to further develop the Observatory's full potential. Our ideal candidate will be a knowledgeable birder, with excellent people skills and have sound experience of operating within a multi-aspect business. They will be a good leader and team player to work alongside our Warden and volunteers to help Spurn Bird Observatory continue to go from strength to strength. Holding a BTO ringing permit would be preferable but not essential.

Key result areas


  • Manage the day-to-day running of the Observatory to ensure the smooth operation of the business, that the aims and objectives are met and customer satisfaction is high.
  • Lead, manage and develop the Observatory’s team to effectively perform and deliver site objectives.
  • Manage and develop conservation awareness through events such as Spurn Migration Festival, talks, workshops and guided walks.
  • Take responsibility for the safe and compliant management of all site operations, overseeing systems such that risks are adequately controlled and work actively with staff to ensure the Observatory’s land and buildings are well maintained, safe, secure and riskfree at all times.
  • Oversee the operation of the Spurn Info Hub.


Staff/Volunteer management

  • To provide line management and support for the Warden / Cleaner / Volunteers.
  • Develop staff and volunteers to ensure the delivery of a work programme maintaining focus on priority species and habitats.


  • Work alongside the Treasurer to develop and manage the site budget, ensuring financial compliance and delivery of the Observatory’s objectives.
  • Developing current fundraising opportunities.
  • Taking a lead on finding grants and completing funding applications.

Research and Development

  • Maintain the long-term monitoring of biodiversity, bird populations, their distribution and migration.
  • Maintain the data held by SBOT and encourage and manage the use of this data by other organisations such as universities and liaising closely with the SBOT Science & Research Subcommittee.
  • Organise the recording of log data, Trektellen input, Breeding Bird Survey, WeBs survey and Point Count surveys.
  • Work closely with the Motus working group to develop its use in the Spurn area.
  • Work closely with the other Observatories in the International Relationship to develop and improve best working practices.

Sponsorship and support

  • Work actively with the Directors / Committee to secure external grant income through fundraising and communication and ensure compliance with external funder requirements to deliver the Observatory’s objectives.
  • Be the main point of contact with the local community and volunteers to build / maintain good relationships.
  • Manage the Friends of Spurn membership and ensure growth and development.
  • Maintaining relationship with local companies and other key external partners.
  • Research and attempt to develop sponsorship for the Observatory.


  • Organize events at the Observatory such as; ringing demonstrations, guided walks, young persons weekends with the BTO.
  • Assist with the organisation of Migfest.
  • Assist with organising the SBOT Global Birdfair presence.


  • Work alongside the editorial team to oversee the production of the annual Spurn Wildlife report.
  • Work closely with the Motus working group to develop this in the Spurn area and around the UK.
  • Develop ringing at Spurn to maximise scientific use, including colour ringing and photographic projects.


  • Manage and develop SBOT’s Social Media presence.
  • Research and carry out wider marketing/advertising opportunities.
  • Develop an overall marketing plan for SBOT covering website, email, social media and other ad hoc marketing activities.
  • Oversee the Spurn Merchandise, buying and selling.


  • Have a flexible approach to working hours, at times working unsociable hours, evenings and weekends and as part of an agreed rota may be required on occasion.
  • To be a high level internal and external champion of the Observatory, across different key sectors.

This is a permanent, full time role with flexible working hours, including weekends and bank holidays. The salary is £25,000-£28,000 per annum with 28 days annual leave and chargeable accommodation at Kew Villa.

To apply please send a CV and cover letter (up to 500 words), to our secretary, Tony Hull on [email protected]

The deadline for applications is 12.00 midday on 25th March 2022. Interviews will take place at the Observatory in April 2022.

Successful candidate will be expected to be onsite in Kilnsea for the majority of their working day. Ideally you will be based within the Holderness area, with accommodation available to rent at Kew Villa for £200 PCM.

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Posted: 28 February 2022

Operations Manager Vacancy