Osprey Volunteering Opportunity


Osprey Volunteering

Rutland Water Nature Reserve

Role Description

Overall purpose: To monitor the public osprey nest in Manton Bay while engaging with visitors, enthusing them about the project.

We are looking for volunteers with a passion for wildlife, specifically ospreys, to help us welcome visitors to the visitor centre and monitor the nest in Manton Bay at weekends and Bank Holidays. This role is a public facing role where you will also need to be confident in engaging with members of the public, enthusing them about the osprey project.

Historically the Osprey was widely distributed throughout England, particularly areas like the Fens which would have provided ideal feeding and breeding habitat. However, intensive persecution by man (egg-collecting and taxidermy) during the last century, combined with prime habitat loss, led to its extinction as a breeding species in England in the 1840s. The last breeding record was in Somerset in 1847.

The reservoir at Rutland Water was constructed in the 1970s and has become an internationally important sanctuary for wintering wildfowl. It is now an SSSI, SPA and Ramsar site. From early in the reserve’s history, Ospreys had been observed using the reservoir as a convenient stopping-off point during the migration.

In 1996 the first ospreys were translocated to Rutland Water in a project that you can learn more about here. Since then the project has grown in leaps and bounds, with the celebration of the 100th Rutland Osprey chick hatching in 2015!

As an osprey project volunteer you have the opportunity to enjoy monitoring these magnificent birds while educating the public about an exciting project that they may know nothing about!

Volunteering Opportunities

Please note, we are currently recruiting for volunteers to help on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays only

Day-time monitoring and engaging the public at Waderscrape:

The Manton Bay nest (as seen on the webcam) is monitored from Waderscrape hide at the Lyndon part of the nature reserve. This hide is open to the public, so here not only will your role involve recording the birds behaviour, you will also need to be confident in engaging with members of the public and enthusing them about the project. (Shift times at Manton Bay: 6am-9am, 9am -1pm, 1pm- 5pm and 5pm until 8pm.)

Talking Ospreys:

As a volunteer who ‘talks ospreys’, based in the Lyndon Visitor Centre your role would be to provide an enthusiastic and warm welcome to all visitors at the weekends and the busy bank holidays, providing them with all the information they need about the osprey project, the Lyndon Visitor Centre and Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

You do not need to be an osprey expert already to take part in these roles. All training will be provided by the project.

Person Specification

  1. Love of wildlife and wild places
  2. Enthusiasm to engage others in a project
  3. Ability to work as part of a team, with staff and other volunteers
  4. Confidence to talk to members of the public


Times/days we would like you to be available:

Saturdays, Sundays and/or Bank Holidays, at least once a month. The osprey project operates from mid-March to mid-September.

If you would like to get involved please contact Sarah Proud by calling the Volunteer Training Centre on 01572 720049 or email volunteering@rutlandwater.org.uk

3 chicks



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