ANYONE with a passion for our feathered friends could be just the person the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is seeking.
The charity, which has a regional base at Denby Dale, wants to recruit volunteers for its 2013 projects.
The RSPB is on the lookout for people with a passion for wildlife to join its 2013 volunteer internship programme, providing a chance to gain valuable, on-the-ground experience in conservation and kick-start a career in conservation.
Four visitor and promotions internships and six warden internships are available in Northern England and the Midlands, starting in March 2013.
Participating reserves in the region include Dearne Valley, Aire Valley and Blacktoft Sands reserves in Yorkshire, Coombes Valley in Staffordshire and Leighton Moss in Lancashire.
The successful candidates will experience every aspect of working in RSPB nature reserves, within their chosen area.
Visitor and promotions interns will gain experience in environmental visitor services, including helping with the planning, delivery and promotion of a busy events programme and working with the media.
Warden interns will get involved in all aspects of reserve management from habitat management planning to undertaking moth-trapping.
Rob Conn, Visitor Officer Intern at Fairburn Ings nature reserve, near Castleford, applied for the RSPB internship scheme after deciding he wanted a new challenge in his work life.
He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my year with the RSPB. The role has allowed me to develop my media skills through writing press releases and magazine articles, managing social media, and developing reader offers with local newspapers to encourage new visitors to the sites.
“I’ve also developed excellent organisational and management skills, and now feel that I am in a much stronger position to gain employment within the conservation sector.”
Andrew Mills, currently a warden intern at Old Moor nature reserve near Barnsley, applied for the RSPB internship scheme after graduating from the University of Leeds.
He said: “At first I was quite apprehensive about giving up 12 months of my life to voluntary work, but I can honestly say it has been the best decision I have ever made.
“I would encourage anyone who has a passion for nature to give the internship a go. It has been a brilliant experience. If you get stuck in and make the most of it you won’t regret taking up this fantastic opportunity.”
The internships will run for 12 months, with candidates spending six months each at two reserves. Free accommodation is also provided.
The closing date for applications is Friday, January 4. For further information on the internships, visit www.rspb.org.uk/volunteering/internships or contact Josie Fowler on 01524 581009 or email Josie.Fowler@rspb.org.uk