With nearly 100,000 breeding seabirds, gorgeous white sandy beaches, 120 metre high 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 as a volunteer 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.

Applications for our 2021 season are now open. We are recruiting four assistant rangers and you can find out about what’s on offer on these pages.

Sadly weekly volunteering is not possible this season, due to the need to keep our team safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

Applications for Assistant Ranger positions are now open

Please read these documents thoroughly before applying:

Role description


Unfortunately we’re unable to recruit weekly volunteers for the 2021 season due to the impact of Covid-19 on our working practices. We hope to reintroduce this popular programme in future seasons and we’re sorry for any disappointment in the meantime.

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