Do you fancy a taste of island life?

Amy Colvin.
Amy Colvin.

By Amy Colvin

Do you dream of escaping the rat race? Fancy living and working on Rathlin Island - Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island?

If so, we would love to hear from you! We’re on the lookout for 100 enthusiastic volunteers to help excite, inform and inspire visitors to the unique Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre

Rathlin Island is home to around 125 residents but in spring and summer the island’s ‘population’ explodes, as tens of thousands of seabirds come ashore and nest on the craggy cliff stacks. Kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots and, everyone’s favourite, the puffin jostle for space to breed and raise their young – the sight, sound (and smell!) is like nothing else.

Last year more than 17,000 people flocked to see this amazing spectacle, with almost half coming from outside the UK. As well as the breathtaking colony, visitors were delighted to be able to explore the unique ‘upside-down’ West lighthouse for the first time.

It just wouldn’t have been possible to give guests such a great experience without the help of many dedicated volunteers. The 2016 team ranged enormously in age, hailed from all parts of the UK, Ireland and further afield and had various levels of knowledge about birds and nature. But they all left with one thing in common – unforgettable memories of this special place, its people and its wildlife.

Volunteers are needed from mid-March to mid-September 2017. Accommodation is provided and a minimum commitment of two weeks (Monday to Monday) is preferable. Interested? Email volunteers@rspb.org.uk or call RSPB NI during office hours on 028 9049 1547.