With nearly 100,000 breeding seabirds, gorgeous white sandy beaches, 120m cliffs and spectacular vistas, Handa really has something for everyone.

Enjoying it for a day as a tourist is special, but to stay on Handa is an unforgettable and magical experience.

A superb team of volunteers and staff means that there is always a friendly face and good banter at the bothy, but there are also many undisturbed, tranquil spots for relaxing amid stunning views and abundant wildlife.

There are plenty of opportunities to help on Handa, either as a volunteer for a week, or on one of up to five long-term placements, lasting from eight weeks to six months.


The Handa experience

We’ve produced a series of short videos to give you an insight into life as a volunteer on Handa.

If you’re interested in joining the Handa team, you can find out more by clicking on the tabs below.

Handa Newsletter

Placements on Handa are widely recognised as important field experience and provide excellent networking opportunities with Trust and RSPB staff, and several seabird researchers. Many former volunteers have gone on to paid employment on Handa and other reserves, and the majority are now employed full-time within the conservation or academic sectors.

If you are 18 or over, have good spoken English plus a good level of health and fitness, then you’ve passed the first test!

If you are able to sleep in a bunk bed in a basic, mixed-sex bothy on a remote Scottish island and feel you have the skills and experience detailed in the role descriptions below, then we’d be keen to hear from you.

Before you apply, please watch this video about long-term volunteering on the island and read through the documents below.

We’ve filled all our long-term placements for this season.  The role descriptions are below. Have a look, and if you’re interested for next season, watch this space in the New Year.

Please read these documents thoroughly before applying:

Role descriptions


The Trust relies on having two weekly volunteers to meet and greet all day visitors to Handa during the tourist season, providing a safe landing and vital information to the tourists. An enjoyable and fulfilling role, we welcome large numbers of new volunteers each year, and many of our weekly volunteers return every summer to lend a hand.

Volunteering on Handa is not just for those wanting experience in conservation, either. Every year we welcome over 50 volunteers of all ages and nationalities, from all walks of life.

We ask that all applicants are over 18, have good spoken English, and have a good level of health, fitness and strength. Being able to live in a basic, mixed-sex bothy, sharing a bunk bed in the main communal room is also essential! Applications from couples or friends are welcome.

Before you apply, please watch this video about weekly volunteering on the island and read through the documents below.

The 2019 season is now over, applications for 2020 will open early in the new year.

Please read these documents thoroughly before applying:




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