Visitor Engagement Volunteer (On Reserves) (Guide in a Hide)

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The RSPB manages a big network of nature reserves which are havens for wildlife, and importantly very special places for people of all ages and abilities to visit and experience a nature rich landscape.

As a wetland oasis in an urban area, RSPB Rye Meads attracts a variety of visitors, from experienced birdwatchers to first-timers, families and young explorers! We are looking for passionate wildlife enthusiasts who are keen to share their knowledge with others through our ‘Guide in a Hide’ role. Ideally this role is carried out at weekends and school holidays where we are at our busiest.

Whether at the diverse Draper scrape, or the popular flagship Kingfisher Viewing Hub, you will be an ambassador for the RSPB, engaging with a diverse audience and facilitating an enjoyable experience for all visitors. Duties will vary depending on the audience, where you are based, and the season but can include:

  • Providing a friendly welcome to visitors on arrival and tailoring your communication to suit their differing knowledge and interests
  • Informing new and inexperienced visitors of best practices in bird hides, use of binoculars and telescopes, and species identification
  • Ensuring hides clean and tidy, all visitors are offered reasonable viewing time, and supporting any visitors who require assistance.
  • Keeping visitors informed on the current activities of breeding species such as Kingfishers, their habits, breeding cycle and the work we have undertaken on site to support them
  • Communicating clearly and effectively the rules for using the hides, in particular the Kingfisher Viewing Hub, and the RSPB visitor code of conduct
  • Listening to feedback, and communicating back to staff at the visitor centre
  • Recording and reporting sightings for the day
  • Talking to the public about the wider work of the RSPB, what we're all about, and the benefits of RSPB membership if the conversation takes you there.

As the primary goal of this role is to educate visitors about the wildlife on our reserve, good knowledge of RSPB Rye Meads and/or identifying the species which can be found here through sight or sound is essential. If training is required, at this time we would ask that you apply for another role at the reserve and build up your knowledge over time.

This is a really rewarding and enjoyable role. You will be working with a friendly team on a beautiful nature reserve, you will have the opportunity to make new friends and spend time outdoors. You will get to meet loads of new people in this role, enjoying conversation and helping people have a wonderful visit.

There is always the opportunity to learn new things and gain skills through volunteering, by working on a reserve, you'll naturally learn all about how nature reserves are managed and the wildlife that is found there. This role can be combined with other volunteering opportunities at Rye Meads, for example our roving volunteers and weekday site management roles.

We are committed to making our organisation diverse and inclusive, and as such are keen to encourage applications from people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, as well as those with disabilities.

For more information about this role please contact, or apply here!