Are you ready for a new conservation challenge in 2018? - Here are 4 opportunities to help conserve and enthuse others about the internationally important peatlands of the Flow Country and 4 reasons why you really should apply for them! 


We have FOUR conservation internship placements with the RSPB at Forsinard Flows, running from March to October 2018 that we are currently recruiting for, based in and working on the magnificent peatlands of the Flow Country – here are four great reasons why you should give the placements a closer look:

1 –  Variety

The four conservation internships are a great way of getting a taster and experience of a variety of different elements of conservation.  Your time will be split between survey and monitoring, people engagement and research.  You will assist with the monitoring of the birds, wildlife and restoration of the peatlands.  People engagement will involve enthusing visitors on guided walks and in our newly refurbished visitor centre.  The research will be helping with a Conservation Science research project looking into the decline of the common scoter duck.  The variety of the internships means that you will develop a broad set of experiences and skills, as well as the opportunity to find out what elements of conservation work appeal to you the most.  



2 – Excitement

2018 looks set to carry on being an exciting time for peatlands in general and especially for RSPB Forsinard Flows.  As research and political work to address climate change continues, the importance of peatlands as a carbon store cannot be overestimated, however, peatlands can only perform this function if they themselves are not damaged.   RSPB Forsinard Flows, has been working to restore peatland damaged by the planting of non-native forestry, since the reserve was created in 1994.  In 2018, there will be extra survey and monitoring work taking place to assess the progress and techniques used in this restoration work.  2018 will also see the final monitoring year of the Conservation Science ‘common scoter research project’  as scientists try to discover what is contributing to the decline of this not so common duck, which has its last UK stronghold in the north of Scotland.  2018 marks the first full season of our newly refurbished visitor centre being open to the public, where visitors can watch the Flow Country film, take a virtual tour round the flow country and even try their hand at restoring the peatland with our interactive game.  The successful interns will play an integral role in all these aspects of work at Forsinard.


3 – The more you look, the more you see

‘Big skies’, ‘A place of adventure in a beautiful landscape’, ‘Awe inspiring’ are all ways that the flow country has been described, or as Joseph Beuys the artist once said ‘Bogs are the liveliest elements of the European landscape, not just from the point of view of the flora and fauna, but as strong places of life, mystery and chemical change, preservers of ancient history’.

March to October sees the peatlands of the Flow country come alive with breeding birds such as hen harrier, golden plover and red throated diver, buzzing with the sound of wings of dragonflies and damselflies as they play out their lifecycles around the pool systems.  The ground beneath your feet becomes a beautiful natural carpet of greens, reds, pinks, oranges and ochres, as plants such as sphagnum, bog asphodel, sundew and butterwort thrive in the wet environment.  Bog myrtle even provides a treat for your sense of smell. 



4 – Partnership projects

2018 sees us over half way through the Heritage Lottery funded Flows to the Future project, of which RSPB Scotland is a lead partner. This is an ambitious project which is restoring areas of blanket bog in the heart of the Flow Country that have been damaged by forestry planting. It will also promote and develop our knowledge of the role of peat in carbon storage, and involve and connect people everywhere with this precious habitat, delivering real economic benefits for one of the least densely populated areas in Scotland.  The project involves several different elements including advisory work to help restore even more areas of peatland, community and education work to share the importance and enthusiasm of the Flow Country peatlands with the wider community and especially the next generation.  Indeed, if community engagement, education and project work are the areas in which you would like to develop then the Flows team also have an additional internship running from March to October working in those areas. 


Interested? - What next?

If we have inspired you to have a closer look at our Forsinard Flows internships for 2018, please follow the link below, where you can find out how to apply, just follow the instructions.

Details on the internships can be found on the pdf documents below:


Once you have found the internship you are interested in, follow the instructions on the website for how to apply. 


And finally

Don’t just take our word for it, here is what two past interns have to say about the internships –

‘I had a fantastic time volunteering at Forsinard, surveying some of our most iconic birds and taking part in genuine conservation work in a unique landscape.  I’ve never learnt so many new things so quickly, and I also gained the skills and experience I needed to begin a career working in conservation.  I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at Forsinard, I would definitely recommend it!’  - David Jarrett

‘A very positive experience, it gave me a bit of a taste for everything and really helped me gain the skills to get a job in conservation.’  - Alex Gould