Trapper (Fixed-Term) – Orkney Native Wildlife Project
Reference: NOV20224697
Location: Orkney Native Wildlife Project – Kirkwall Office
Salary: £26,180.00 – £37,633.00 per annum, pro rata
Hours: Full-time
Contract: 2 fixed-term contracts available – one for 6 months and one for 24 months
Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance

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 the world’s largest stoat eradication operation 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.

The project is a partnership between RSPB Scotland, NatureScot and Orkney Islands Council, and is generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and EU LIFE and NatureScot, Nature Restoration Fund (NRF).

About the role

The post will be based on the Orkney Islands and be predominantly field based. We are looking for an experienced mammal trapper with excellent organisation and communication skills to help deliver the stoat eradication operation for the ONWP. You will be joining an existing team of trappers and must be able to work with a professional attitude in a close-knit and diverse team. As this is a field-based position you must be physically fit, able to walk considerable distances over challenging terrain, in all weathers up to five days per week and potentially carry heavy loads.

You will be involved in:

  • Checking, cleaning and rebaiting a network of over 6,000 kill traps on a regular cycle as part of a team. This will include removing catches from traps and disposing of them
  • Trap deployment and removal.
  • Implementing trap and vehicle maintenance schedules.
  • Ensuring that all necessary trap field and maintenance data are collected and captured into a database.
  • Assisting in stoat monitoring.
  • Engaging with landowners to maintain and secure land access agreements across the Orkney Mainland and linked isles.
  • Other tasks appropriate to the project as required.

You will enjoy being outdoors and be able to perform a repetitive task to a consistently high standard. You should be passionate about the natural world. You will be a focussed individual with impeccable attention to detail and the ability to maintain accurate records. You will be able to identify issues and risks as they emerge and communicate these effectively to your team.

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 will be required to drive ONWP fleet vehicles and will have a full driver’s licence. You should also have experience of working with local communities in a collaborative and sensitive way because a key part of your role will be maintaining good relationships with landowners.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Understanding of the impact of invasive non-native species and how to manage their populations appropriately for the benefit of native wildlife.
  • Ability to use own initiative to solve day-to-day problems.
  • Able to work in extreme conditions, for prolonged periods in the field, including lone working in a variety of challenging terrains.
  • Ability to be self-motivated, work efficiently within a defined work plan and have the flexibility to adapt to changing work practices as required.
  • Practical recording skills of a standard that provides the highest quality data.
  • Verbal communication skills to develop and maintain good relations with colleagues, landowners and members of the public.
  • Demonstrable, transferable identification and practical field skills appropriate to the post (e.g., animal trapping, tracking, field skills such as navigation and map reading).

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Relevant field skills or training appropriate to the post (i.e., use of trail cameras, knowledge and identification of field signs, use of conservation detection dogs, 4×4 driving experience, firearms).
  • A degree in relevant subject or equivalent experience e.g. a degree in conservation biology or 1 year+ experience trapping in the field.
  • Ability to use relevant Microsoft office apps. e.g., outlook, excel, sharepoint and teams

The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

Closing date: 23:59, Friday, 6th January 2023
We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 16th January 2023.


If you would like to find out more, please click the apply button. You will be directed to our website to complete your application for this position.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

No agencies please.