Lead Wildlife Guide

Location

Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

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Your principle role will be undertaking the position of lead wildlife guide on expeditions of up to six days operating between the Outer Hebrides and the West Coast of Scotland with a maximum of 8 guests, reaching as far out as St. Kilda. 

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Lead Wildlife Guide (boat and land based)

Salary: Details upon application

Hebridean Adventures is a wildlife-watching tour company based out of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, offering occasional day trips but predominately multi-night expeditions on the MV Monadhliath, a specially converted fishing vessel with 2 purpose-built viewing decks.

 

This is a fixed-term position for 2 years initially but could be extended on a full-time basis. You will be based on the Isle of Lewis during the operating season from April to September, and home-based during the off season from October to March.

 

Your principle role will be undertaking the position of lead wildlife guide on expeditions of up to six days operating between the Outer Hebrides and the west coast of Scotland with a maximum of 8 guests, reaching as far out as St.Kilda. The waters are highly productive with cetacean species such as short-beaked common dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, white-beaked dolphin, harbour porpoise, minke whale and basking shark being regularly seen with occasional orca, fin, and humpback sightings. It is expected therefore that the guide will have a solid ability and demonstrable experience in confidently and accurately identifying these as well as other marine and coastal mammals, seabirds, and terrestrial bird species, particularly eagles. They must also have knowledge of the rarer species that might turn up so they can be recognised and acknowledged if so.

 

There will be a requirement to assist in the same role aboard a 2nd vessel on some occasions.

 

The role will also involve undertaking land-based tours in our small minibus on occasions, so a sound knowledge of terrestrial species and general ecology is required, and a driving licence is essential therefore.

 

An important aspect, particularly during the off season, is to be working behind the scenes with HQ colleagues assisting with enquiries, developing cruise programs, ad-hoc project work (such as liaising with our conservation partners or writing species guides for the website for example) and inputting into our social media and marketing efforts.

 

Desirable, but not essential, will be the willingness to assist our sister company, Stagfire Ecological Surveys, during the winter with land-based ornithological surveys across the Highlands and Islands.

 

Accommodation during the operating season is available/included at the Hebridean Adventures base residence located close to Stornoway (with whales, dolphins, and otters nearby!) when off duty or on land-based work.

Responsibilities & Duties

  • Responsible for locating, spotting and identifying wildlife from the boat.

  • Offering information on subjects surrounding the ecology of the Outer Hebrides; marine mammals, birds, and marine life to our guests.

  • Lead on collecting cetacean data via the HWDT Whale Track App.

  • Get involved with taking ID photographs of cetaceans for our conservation partners.

  • When not on cruises, undertake land-based wildlife tours of Lewis & Harris with the minibus as and when required. 

  • Provide excellent care to our guests - nothing will be too much trouble.

  • Collaborate closely with skipper and chef and take the lead on making the vessel ready between cruises. 

  • Liaise with shore-based cleaning team between cruises.

  • Manage the relief guide and volunteer workload and rota for boat guiding, shop, and land-tours through the season.

  • Act as crew/deckhand along with chef when entering port or anchoring.

  • Communicate with HQ staff and create and post social media and blogs during cruises. 

  • Occasionally have a presence in our small retail shop and booking office in Stornoway.

Requirements

  • Demonstrate a passion and commitment for the marine environment and have had experience in this field.

  • Ability to identify cetaceans, other mammals, and birds quickly and confidently, both marine and terrestrial species.

  • Customer-focused and demonstrate an ability to develop better experience solutions for guests.

  • Communicate clearly and concisely with guests.

  • You must hold a full and clean driver’s licence.

  • Willing to share a small space with crew colleagues below deck when out at sea.

  • Be a good team player.

  • Experience of working on boats would be an advantage.

  • Overall responsibility for ensuring the vessel is always clean and tidy.

  • No alcohol to be consumed whilst on expeditions.

  • No smoking allowed during shifts.

  • We have a zero drugs policy.

  • Ensure guest safety at all times.

  • Obtain or hold an ML5 or equivalent Seafarers Medical certificate of fitness

  • Be eligible to work in the UK

To Apply

Please send a CV and a covering letter detailing your wildlife and guiding experience and outlining your overall suitability for the role to:  info@hebrideanadventures.co.uk

 

Initial interviews will take place via telephone.