Trapper Team Leader
Reference: APR20229373
Location: Orkney Native Wildlife Project – Kirkwall Office
Salary: £26,180.00 – £29,043.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance and Annual Leave
Duration: 21 months – Ideally July 2022 start

This is a Fixed term Contract for 21 months for 37.5 hours per week.  RSPB reserve the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract.

Orkney is famous for its landscape, its history, its culture and its wildlife. The Orkney Native Wildlife Project (ONWP) 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 one of the world’s largest stoat eradication operations 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.

About The Role

The post will be based on the Orkney Islands and will be a combination of field and office-based work. We are looking for an experienced team leader with well-developed field skills and excellent organisation and communication skills to help deliver the stoat eradication operation for the ONWP.

Your time will be split between field work and team management. You will be joining an existing team of trappers and must be able to work with a professional attitude in a diverse team. You will help to plan and prioritise the trap teams activities, working alongside the operations manager to deliver the trapping programme and adapt as necessary to ensure project priorities are delivered. You will be responsible for ensuring your team has all the necessary equipment, is motivated and capable and has a well-balanced workload. For field work you will be expected to carry out stoat trapping and monitoring.


·         Regularly meeting to discuss and plan your teams work priorities, ensuring any issues are communicated properly and addressed.

·         Responsibility for up to 5 line-reports, having regular 1:1 meetings and ensuring development goals are addressed.

·         Developing relationships within the ONWP team.

·         Engaging with landowners to maintain and secure land access agreements across Orkney.

·         Regularly servicing and managing a network of over 6,000 kill traps as part of a team, including trap, and removal and disposal of catches.

·         Implementing vehicle maintenance schedules.

·         Ensuring all relevant data are collected and stored effectively.

·         Assisting in stoat monitoring and collaborating with the conservation dog team.

You will need to adapt to changing methodologies and ensure that these are enacted. You will be focussed, with impeccable attention to detail and the ability to maintain accurate records. You will be able to identify issues and risks and communicate these effectively. You will enjoy being outdoors and have a passion for nature. 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 should have experience working with local communities in a collaborative and sensitive way as a key part of your role will be maintaining good relationships with landowners.

What we need:

·         Degree or equivalent relevant work experience e.g., a degree in conservation biology, or 1+ years’ experience trapping experience.

·         Understanding of the impact of invasive non-native species and how to manage their populations appropriately for the benefit of native wildlife.

·         Knowledge of key legal and practical requirements for ensuring health and safety of staff and volunteers working in challenging field conditions.

·         Leadership, management and site supervision of a diverse team with a key focus on setting a clear direction, maintaining motivation and instigating and managing change.

·         Interpersonal skills with the tact, diplomacy and negotiating skills to manage staff and develop and maintain good relations with the owners/managers of land where you work.

·         Willing to work in all weathers for prolonged periods, in a variety of challenging terrains, including lone working and carrying heavy loads. .

·         Organisational, including the ability to be self-motivated, work efficiently within a defined work plan, have good time management and prioritisation, and have the flexibility to adapt to changing work practices.

·         Proven track record in area of field work, including demonstrable, transferable identification and practical field skills (e.g., animal trapping, tracking, navigation, and map reading).

·         Working with staff and volunteers.

·         Able to travel to remote locations without the use of public transport

·         Relevant field skills (i.e., use of trail cameras, knowledge and identification of field signs, use of conservation detection dogs, 4×4 driving experience, use of DOC traps, firearms)


IT and other software e.g., Outlook, SharePoint, Excel, Teams, and GIS

Closing date: 23:59, Sun, 29th May 2022

We are looking to conduct interviews from early June.

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click the apply button to be directed to our website. 

You will be required to only complete an application form where you will have the opportunity to tell us why you are best suited for this role.

We are an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the R’ of O’s Act 1974.

No agencies please.