This year for the first time, we are looking for two residential volunteers to join the team over the winter months to help out with more practicle work around the Observatory. These roles have less emphasis on bird identification skills, so if you're handy with equipment and want to improve your birding skills and knowledge, then this role is perfect for you.

08 January 2024

Position: Spurn Bird Observatory Residential Winter Volunteer

Location: Spurn Bird Observatory, East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Duration: Winter Season (1st December 2024 until 8th March 2025)

About Spurn Bird Observatory:

Spurn Bird Observatory is a renowned location for birdwatching and conservation situated in an area of great ecological significance. The observatory focuses on monitoring, recording, and conserving birds and their habitats, providing valuable data for research and conservation efforts.


Role Overview:

The Residential Winter Volunteer will play a crucial role in supporting the daily operations and activities at Spurn Bird Observatory during the winter season. Volunteers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich biodiversity of the area while contributing to various conservation and observatory tasks maintaining and improving the infrastructure of our assets.


Key Responsibilities: 

- Habitat Management / Work Parties. The winter is the time we can get on with habitat management across the Obs’ land in readiness for the following breeding season. Coppicing and bramble clearance, repairs to heligoland traps etc.

- Observatory cleaning / larger maintenance work jobs. Painting and decorating the Observatory accommodation building, as well as maintaining the cleanliness for visiting guests throughout the winter months.

- Assisting with bird surveys, observation, and data collection during migration periods.

- Participating in habitat management  and restoration projects.

- Engaging with visitors, providing information about the observatory, its mission, and the importance of conservation efforts.

- Assisting with the maintenance and cleaning of Observatory facilities, accommodation and grounds, ensuring a welcoming and functional environment for guests and researchers.

- Assisting with bird surveys, observation, and data collection, such as the Wetland Bird Survey.

- Contributing to educational programs or events hosted by the observatory, sharing knowledge about local avian species and conservation practices, such as guided walks and leading our series of Winter Work Parties with Health and Safety at the fore.



- Passion for wildlife conservation and an interest in ornithology.

- Ability to work outdoors in various weather conditions and terrain.

- Good communication skills and a friendly, approachable demeanour for engaging with visitors and fellow volunteers.

- Flexibility and adaptability to contribute effectively within a team environment.

- Have a can-do attitude.

- Qualifications for using machinery such as brushcutters and hedge trimmers etc (highly desirable)



- Accommodation provided within the observatory premises.

- Reasonable food and travel expenses.

- Hands-on experience in conservation practices, estate and habitat management, and bird monitoring.

- Opportunities for networking and learning from experienced ornithologists and conservationists.

- Immersion in a unique natural setting and the chance to witness diverse bird species during migration.


Note: This is an unpaid volunteer position. Volunteers will receive training, accommodation, food and travel expenses, and the invaluable experience of contributing to conservation efforts at Spurn Bird Observatory.


How to Apply:

Closing date for receipt of applications is 23:59 on Sunday 18 February and interviews will be held virtually in March. If you have any questions, please contact Rob Hunton, Observatory Manager, at 

To apply, please submit your CV and a cover letter outlining your interest in the position and relevant experience to Rob Hunton, Observatory Manager, at 


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