If the prospect of working on a small island that is noted for its conservation and sustainability work appeals, you might consider applying to become a volunteer assistant warden on Lundy Island, which is located 19km off the coast of southwest England.

There are five positions available on the tiny, rugged island, and although they are unpaid, accommodation is provided. The annual posts are open to all but are often filled by students on a gap year or looking to gain experience and further their careers in conservation. Assistant wardens mainly carry out their work in conservation and the monitoring of the island's seal and sea bird colonies.

Two puffins, with black backs, white chests and orange-and-yellow beaks, face each other on a rock
Lundy's vast seabird colony includes Atlantic puffins © Paul Harris / Getty Images Plus

Philanthropist businessman Jack Hayward bought Lundy in 1969 and gave it to the National Trust. Management was assigned to the Landmark Trust, which renewed a 50-year-lease in September 2019 to carry on looking after the island, which is one of the UK's most important wildlife havens. Conservation is central to Lundy, and it has had successes in ecotourism, the use of renewable energy and a move towards becoming plastic-free.

The roles on offer are for two assistant wardens for the seabirds between April and July, and two for the Atlantic Grey Seals between July and September, One assistant ranger is required between April and October. Candidates should be of a "hardy nature" as working days can be long and will take place in a range of weather conditions. The positions would be suitable for someone wanting to experience living on a small isolated island, which might appeal to plenty of people in these COVID-19 times.

There is a spectacular diversity of marine life amid Lundy’s sandbanks, reefs, kelp forests and caves. It is home to the biggest seabird colony in England’s southwest, and you can expect to see guillemot, kittiwake, razorbill, Manx shearwater and puffins there. Conservation measures help to protect 330 different plant species on the island.

Lundy has no cars and its 23 self-catering properties have no televisions, radios or telephones. The Marisco Tavern is the island's only pub and the hub of local life. There’s also a 40-person campsite and a general store. The visitor season runs from spring to autumn, with at least three sailings a week from March 31 to late October.

If all of this appeals, you can apply for the assistant warden positions by contacting the island warden on warden@lundyisland.co.uk by February 5, 2021.

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