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Trapper x 2 (Fixed-Term)

Reference: SEP20211858
Expiry date: 23:59, 03 October 2021
Location: Orkney Native Wildlife Project – Kirkwall Office
Salary: £22,986.00 - £25,500.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days Annual Leave
Duration:12 months
Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotes.pdf

Orkney is famous for its landscape, its history, its culture and its wildlife. The Orkney Native Wildlife Project aims to safeguard the unique and internationally important native wildlife of Orkney and the benefits it provides for local people and the economy by addressing the threat it faces from an invasive non-native predator: the stoat. 

Stoats were first reported in Orkney in 2010 and their presence threatens the Orkney vole, which is found nowhere else in the world, and many birds including hen harriers, short-eared owls, red-throated divers, waders and seabirds, many of which support Orkney’s thriving wildlife tourism industry. It is therefore essential to remove stoats from Orkney to prevent significant and long-term negative impacts on Orkney’s native wildlife and ensure future generations can continue to enjoy it.

This project is working with local communities and landowners to undertake the world’s largest stoat eradication operation on a mixture of privately and publicly owned land. Comprehensive biosecurity measures are being implemented and maintained during and beyond the lifetime of the project, to reduce the risk of reinvasion and to secure the long-term sustainability of the eradication. Education, training and interpretation activities are informing, enabling and encourage people to become involved in conserving wildlife on Orkney.

The project is a partnership between RSPB Scotland, NatureScot and Orkney Islands Council, and is generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and EU LIFE.

What is the role about?

The post will be based on the Orkney Islands and be predominantly field based. We are looking for an experienced mammal trapper with excellent organisation and communication skills to help deliver the stoat eradication operation for the Orkney Native Wildlife Project. You will be joining an existing team of trappers and must be able to work with a professional attitude in a close-knit team. As this is a field-based position you must be physically fit, able to walk considerable distances over challenging terrain, in all weathers up to five days per week and potentially carry heavy loads.

You will be involved in:

  • Engaging with landowners to maintain and secure land access agreements across the Orkney Mainland and linked isles.
  • Trap deployment and removal
  • Checking, cleaning and rebaiting a network of over 5,000 traps on a regular cycle as part of a team. This will include removing catches from traps and disposing of them in line with project protocols.
  • Implementing trap and vehicle maintenance schedules.
  • Ensuring that all necessary trap field and maintenance data are collected and captured into a database.
  • Assisting in stoat monitoring.
  • Other tasks appropriate to the project as required.

You will enjoy being outdoors and be able to perform a repetitive task to a consistently high standard. You will be a focussed individual with impeccable attention to detail and the ability to maintain accurate records. You will be able to identify issues and risks as they emerge and communicate these effectively to your team. You will have the confidence and ability to inspire trust and support for the project, and an ability to win over hearts and minds and motivate people. You will be required to drive ONWP fleet vehicles and will have a full driver’s licence. You should also have experience of working with local communities in a collaborative and sensitive way because a key part of your role will be maintaining good relationships with landowners. 

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Understanding of the impact of invasive non-native species and how to manage their populations appropriately for the benefit of native wildlife
  • Ability to use own initiative to solve day-to-day problems.
  • Be physically fit, able to work in extreme conditions, for prolonged periods in the field, including lone working in a variety of challenging terrains.
  • Ability to be self-motivated, work efficiently within a defined work plan and have the flexibility to adapt to changing work practices as required.
  • Practical recording skills of a standard that provides the highest quality data.
  • Verbal communication skills to develop and maintain good relations with colleagues, landowners and members of the public.
  • Demonstrable, transferable identification and practical field skills appropriate to the post (e.g., animal trapping, tracking, field skills such as navigation and map reading).

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • A degree in relevant subject or equivalent experience e.g., a degree in conservation biology or 1 year+ experience trapping in the field.
  • Ability to use relevant Microsoft office apps. e.g., outlook, excel and teams
  • Other relevant field skills appropriate to the post (i.e., use of trail cameras, knowledge and identification of field signs, use of conservation detection dogs, ATV training, 4x4 driving experience, shooting).

This is a Contract, Full Time role for 12 months. The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from week commencing 11th October 2021. For further information please contact

As part of this application process you will be asked to complete a full application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience requested.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.