Species Protection (Beach Warden)

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Available from 1 April 2022 to 21 August 2022

Want to play a vital role in protecting rare beach-nesting bird species? Little terns, ringed plovers, and other waders struggle to breed successfully due to disturbance on the Norfolk and Suffolk beaches. In this volunteer role you will join an existing group of beach-nesting bird volunteers at Eccles-on-sea, Winterton-on-sea and Kessingland. Historically this coastal area has been a stronghold for the little tern and ringed plover, yet their breeding population has fluctuated in recent years. The RSPB and partners are seeking to recover their populations to a stable and sustainable level, but we need your help!

Your role would include monitoring and protecting important colonies of beach-nesting birds. This will include talking to beach users about the threats that the birds face and how everyone can do their bit to help protect them. You will also help to monitor adults and young and record predator activity.

You should be fairly physically fit, able to negotiate steps down to the beach and walk some distance along it. You should also be comfortable with visiting the colonies in all weather conditions.

You will need to be willing to learn about little terns and engage with beach visitors to raise awareness about these fragile, beach-nesting birds.

This role will require some key general skills, but a full induction, training and on-going support will be provided.

General skills and knowledge required may include:

  • Some specific species knowledge.
  • Willingness to learn and follow the various steps the RSPB is taking to protect a species.
  • Ability to talk to members of the public
  • Able to volunteer during weekdays, evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Able to work independently or as part of a small team.
  • Locations may be quite remote so access to transport is beneficial.

As a Beach Warden Volunteer, you will have a chance to work as part of a team and meet new, like-minded people whilst gaining hands on experience of specific species protection. Imagine spending time this summer on some of the most beautiful beaches on our coast, directly contributing to the conservation of these wonderful birds. If this sounds appealing, then we would like to hear from you.

The RSPB will reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses travel expenses, we will provide the equipment, training and any uniform needed for you to complete the role.

Testimonials from volunteers: “Seeing the little terns on the beach… a thing that size… to come all this way, and to lay its eggs just on the ground, it’s amazing!” Peter

“They make us smile.” Jackie and Graham

“I think little terns get under your skin, once you get to know them, once you watch them, you can’t really abandon them. They are incredible, incredible birds and what they actually do is break your heart year after year.” Ali