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.

Applications for long-term roles for our 2020 season are open. You can find out about the roles we offer on these pages.

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.

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 have a careful read through all of the documents below.

Watch this space for volunteering opportunities.

Please read these documents thoroughly before applying:

Role descriptions


The Trust relies on having a minimum of 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 45 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.

All our slots are now filled for this season.

If you’re really keen, (and a bit flexible) we can add you to our Reserve List. We do occasionally get last minute cancellations.
If you’d really like to volunteer on Handa, and are able to be flexible with your dates, or are available at short notice, please apply anyway, and we will add you to our Reserve List.

Please read these documents thoroughly before applying:

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