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Weekly volunteering on Skomer Island

Ceris Aston, Assistant Warden at Skomer Island, shares the exciting upcoming weekly volunteering opportunities on Skomer Island in 2022 - home to 34,500 puffins, 350,000 pairs of Manx Shearwaters, and its own subspecies of vole!

Applications close on Sunday 24th October - the application form can be downloaded here.

October 2021

Skomer is a small, beautiful island off the coast of Pembrokeshire in South Wales, managed by The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales. It is home to 34,500 puffins, 350,000 pairs of Manx Shearwaters, its own subspecies of vole, and a wide variety of incredible wildlife. We are currently seeking applications for weekly volunteering on Skomer in 2022, and are especially keen to increase access to these volunteering opportunities.

For anyone interested in working in conservation, this is a great opportunity to experience reserve work and gain experience for your CV. We’re very aware of the lack of diversity both within nature conservation as a sector and on the island, and we’d like to remove some of the barriers that exist, to enable us to learn and benefit from a wider range of people and perspectives. We waive the volunteer fee for anyone not in a position to afford it, and are keen to make sure that the experience of a week’s volunteering on Skomer is one from which individuals benefit as much as possible. We’d very much welcome any suggestions on how we can improve.

On Skomer our fantastic weekly volunteers’ main focus is on people engagement: helping people on and off day boats, patrolling the island, protecting the burrows and pointing out the birds (it’s an important job!). They also clean the compost loos and hostel accommodation. On days when no visitor boats are running, volunteers do dolphin and porpoise surveys, and transects of reptiles and amphibians. Volunteers also get stuck into helping with island maintenance tasks like cleaning, painting and vegetation control.

Outside of the work day, volunteers are also very welcome to get involved with research on the island, which is seasonally dependent but can include helping with gull ringing, Manx shearwater chick weighing and short-eared owl monitoring. It’s an incredible opportunity to enjoy the unique experience of spending time on a tiny seabird island – from enjoying sunrises and sunsets, to hearing the night noisy with shearwaters.

We’d love to open up the experience of volunteering on Skomer to more people. You don’t need to have previous experience, but should love nature, and enjoy chatting to people. If you are interested but would like to know a little more about what is involved or how we can support you to access this opportunity, then you can email Ceris on to arrange an informal chat.

We also recruit long-term volunteers on Skomer, who join the team for either the beginning of season (April-July) or the end (July-September). These volunteers are an important part of every aspect of life on the island, including public engagement, species monitoring, habitat management, and island maintenance. They learn new skills in all of these areas and many previous volunteers have gone on to careers in conservation. Applications for these roles will open in December and will be advertised on Follow @skomer_island on Twitter or Instagram, or @SkomerIsland on Facebook for more updates.

To apply to volunteer on Skomer please email your application form here by the end of 24th October.

Many thanks – diolch yn fawr.

Ceris Aston is Skomer Assistant Warden, at The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales.

Follow: @skomer_island

The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership.