Help Required for Rum Rhododendron Removal

A call has gone out for helpers with a Rhododendron clearance project to support native wildlife on the isle of Rum. You might get a free hillwalking trip out of it.

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The project is being run by the Isle of Rum Community Trust (IRCT). As well as clearing the invasive plants volunteers will also get the chance to help with wildlife gardening in the island's community garden.

Rum is one of Scotland's most stunning islands and an iconic National Nature Reserve owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), who are grant aiding this volunteer project.

IRCT ranger Mike Werndly says it promises to be a great experience for the successful applicants:

'We'd prefer applicants who have a bit of experience in this field already, and it would be a great opportunity for students and trainee land managers who want to add to their CVs. That shouldn't put people off though, and we'll consider all applications. People should be physically fit, have a good sense of humour ...and we will provide midge jackets!'

'It's ideal for anyone with an interest in the environment as the island has great wildlife – golden eagles, otters, Manx shearwaters, and lots more. The evenings will be free so people will have plenty of time to explore the National Nature Reserve.'

Richard Kilpatrick, SNH's Reserve manager on Rum, adds:

'Rhododendron ponticum thrives in the climate of the west Highlands and can swamp out native vegetation if it's left unchecked. We're really pleased to be supporting this project, which gives people a chance to get hands on involvement in nature conservation...and enjoy a trip to Rum.'

The team will be provided with accommodation in new cabins, and ferry tickets to and from Rum will be paid. Cooking duties will be shared out.

Anyone interested should contact Mike Werndly with a CV and short covering note, either by email or by post to: IRCT Office, Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum, Inverness-shire, PH43 4RR

The closing date for applications is Friday 22 June.

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