Monday 21 December 2015

Become a Long Term Volunteer on Skomer Island!

Each year, Long Term Volunteers (LTVs) become an integral part of the Skomer Island team, and running the island without volunteers would be almost impossible. Volunteers get involved in all tasks, from visitor engagement to species monitoring, and it is a role which is incredibly rewarding.  For a little more information on what volunteers will get up to in each post then please read on. To find an application form and full advert please head to our website (link at the bottom of this blog).

1st April – 15th July

Two LTV positions available.

The first stint of the season is an exciting one as seabirds return to start breeding for another year. Volunteers help out with seabird monitoring and breeding bird surveys of the island nesting birds. As the stint progresses, LTVs will be helping out with gull nest counts, seabird counts (from land and sea) and the Manx shearwater census. There will also be a large proportion of visitor work, with LTVs giving welcome talks both at the landing area and up at the hostel for overnight guests as well as regular engagement around the island. 
Volunteers will also be expected to get involved with various events that we run throughout the season, from bird watching weekends to guided walks.

15th July – 30th September

Two LTV positions available

As the cliff nesting birds depart at the end of July, attention turns to Manx shearwaters and seals as the Autumn draws closer. Skomer is home to a large seal colony and around 200 pups are born each year, with pupping starting in August and reaching its peak at the end of September. Regular seal rounds are set up to monitor the progress of each and every pup born on Skomer, and LTVs will help to carry these out. As the season starts to quieten down the attention turns to the more practical side of island running, from path maintenance to carrying out any repairs to infrastructure on the island.

There will still be a good amount of visitor work to be fulfilled, with LTVs giving welcome talks both at the landing area and up at the hostel for overnight guests as well as regular engagement around the island. LTVs also help out with various events such as August family activities and Shearwater week. 
Staff and Long Term Volunteers carry out the Manx shearwater census.

Seabird Monitoring Volunteer

June is the busiest time on Skomer, not just for visitors but also for seabirds. Skomer is home to around 23,000 guillemots, 21,000 puffins, 7,000 razorbills and 316,000 pairs of Manx shearwaters, not to mention other species such as fulmar, shags and cormorants.
We have one placement running from 25th May until 30th June to help out with the large range of seabird monitoring that happens on Skomer. Gull nest counts start from the end of May and seabird monitoring starts in June as we count every seabird that nests on Skomer’s cliffs, from land and from boat. We also carry out a Manx shearwater plot census using playback, which the volunteers will be heavily involved in.

The full job advert and person specification is on our website but for this position we need someone who is fully comfortable spending long periods of time on a small boat in potentially unfavourable sea conditions and enjoys working outdoors in all weathers.

Staff and volunteers counting seabirds from the boat during June. 

Extra information
Long Term Volunteers are also expected to undertake a project whilst on the island, whether it be on vegetation, insect life or bird life, the choice is wide and ranging and we are eager to hear about projects on species that are yet to be studied in detail.

All posts give a real chance to gain an insight into living and working on an Island and National Nature Reserve. The role is varied and one day is never the same as the next.

Whether it is during the summer of your university course or as a stepping stone to your future career in conservation, we want to hear from everyone who thinks they have what it takes to be a member of the Skomer Island team.

More information can be found at:

Thank you for our interest and we look forward to hearing from you! 

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Skomer Island, Britain's favourite Nature Reserve? You decide

Vote for us! Voting is now open in LandLove Magazines awards, and Skomer has been nominated for Britain's favourite Nature Reserve! Maybe it's the cliffs covered with seabirds, fields covered in bluebells or the charismatic puffins that are your favourite part about Skomer, or there’s something else that sticks in your memory. Here are a few photos of Skomer to show how spectacular it is!

Bluebells in spring. From early April the bluebells start to show through and peak flowering is around mid-May, giving a spectacular display, carpeting the island blue.

Skomer from the air. Crown copyright (2015) Visit Wales.  A rarely seen view of Skomer, it hints at the bluebell show in spring and shows the vast patches of pink campion that flowers just as the bluebells die back.

Guillemots, razorbills and fulmars line the cliffs and puffins line the cliff tops from April until the end of July.

Manx shearwater chick. Anyone who has stayed during Shearwater Week in late August and early September will never forget seeing these chicks for the first time.

Seal Pups in autumn. August onwards is the best time to see seal pups, and September is the peak, with seals pupping on the beach just below the landing point!

We hope that these pictures jog your memory this winter of how spectacular Skomer is and why it is your favourite Nature Reserve.

Voting can be done through:

Thank you! 

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Become part of the Skomer Island team: Long-term Voluneers wanted

Transporting luggage

Long-term Volunteer

We have four Long-term Volunteer positions available, two of which run from 1st April until 15th July 2016 and two of which run from 15th July until 30th September 2016.

Painting signs for thePuffin study

The Long-term Volunteers will become an integral part of the island team and will be involved in all aspects of the running of the National Nature Reserve.

Giving intro talks
They will be welcoming overnight guests and giving welcome talks to day visitors, conducting various species surveys (including seabird monitoring and seal monitoring in the appropriate seasons), helping to keep the visitor accommodation clean, carrying out general maintenance all over the island and undertaking their own research project whilst on the island.

Cleaning and abseiling to mark seal pups - all in a day's work

Seabird Monitoring Volunteer
Lunch beak during the seabird counts
This position runs from 25th May until 30th June 2016. This is a fantastic opportunity to volunteer on one of Britain’s most important seabird colonies. Skomer has around 23,000 Guillemots, 7,000 Razorbills and 21,000 Puffins. And that’s not to mention the world’s largest colony of Manx Shearwaters, around 316,000 pairs!

This volunteering position will be to help out with our busiest period of the year, which includes helping out with gull nest counts, seabird counts from land and boat and the Manx Shearwater census.

For more information and application forms click here