APPLICATIONS for a dream role working close to the rare wildlife on one of Scotland’s islands are due to close in less than two weeks.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is looking for a ranger - or two - to fill a role working on Handa, a haven for seabirds.

Located off Scotland’s north-western coast, Handa has nearly 100,000 breeding birds, white sandy beaches, and 120 metre high cliffs.

Accommodation for the post is provided free of charge in the purpose-built Ranger’s bothy.

The National: A rare leucistic puffin was spotted on Handa Island Wildlife Reserve in 2021A rare leucistic puffin was spotted on Handa Island Wildlife Reserve in 2021

The island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA).

Each spring, tens of thousands of seabirds migrate to the island's Torridonian sandstone cliffs. It is an internationally important breeding site for guillemots, razorbills and great skuas.

The waters around the island also offer the chance to spot minke whales, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins, grey seals and even the occasional orca or basking shark.

The trust is looking for someone to fill a six-month role from March to September, paid £17,290 FTE per annum pro rata. However, it says that a job-share would also be considered, but the accommodation would really only suit a single person or a sharing couple.

The job description says: “This role at times can be physically demanding yet hugely rewarding and will more than satisfy your desire to work outdoors in a remote and stunning location.

“Familiarity with Handa Island would be an advantage however not essential. Weekly trips to Scourie (the nearest, but remote village) are necessary to do laundry, banking, shopping, and exchange gas bottles, therefore, a current driving licence and access to a vehicle are both essential for the role.”

The post says that the successful candidate - or candidates - will ideally be able to work under their own initiative and as part of a close-knit team, have a high degree of emotional maturity, resilience and flexibility, and be able to organise, supervise and motivate a small team.

For more details and how to apply, you can visit the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s website. The deadline is noon on January 17. 

The trust is also advertising for a series of volunteer roles over the 2022 tourist season. However, weekly volunteering slots are not being offered this year to try and maximise the safety from the Covid pandemic.

Saying that a stay on Handa is “an unforgettable and magical experience”, the trust adds: “Applications for a number of long-term volunteering positions during the 2022 season are now open. Further posts will be advertised in February / March.”