You could get a job as a 'bison ranger' without previous experience - how to apply

Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust are recruiting for two bison rangers - the first ever job of its kind in the UK.

The position is set to begin in spring this year, and is situated in one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in the country.

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The role has been posted by Kent Wildlife Trust and The Wildwood Trust as part of their Wilder Blean project, using funds raised by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

What does the role entail?

Kent Wildlife Trust and The Wildwood Trust are looking for two people to manage a small herd of wild European bison which are being introduced into Blean Woods to help restore the woodland for wildlife.

The two rangers will be required to keep the bison in a state as wild as possible in order for them to display their natural behaviour, and have the greatest positive impact on the site.

“Careful and sympathetic management will be essential to the fulfilment of this role”, the job description explains.

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Training will be provided as part of this role, which will involve spending a number of months with ARK Naturr Ontwikkeling at several of their sites in the Netherlands.

Some of the specific responsibilities included in the job description include:

  • Inspecting the bison and carrying out health checks
  • Carrying out daily inspections of the bison fencing and arrange for repairs as necessary
  • Support additional livestock outside the bison areas
  • Monitor visitor interactions with the bison
  • Lead foot safaris for visitors

‘Truly a unique role’

Stan Smith, Wilder Landscapes Manager at Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “This is truly a unique role for the UK, it’s a chance to manage a free roaming herd of Europe’s largest living land mammal and to develop an entirely new skill set which will enable the success of this and future wilding projects.

“This is a first step to European bison becoming more frequent tools for the restoration of ecosystems in Britain and for two individuals to get to know these animals like no other.

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“Whilst we are not expecting applicants to have significant experience with bison, this will be a demanding role requiring excellent ecological knowledge, deep understanding of animal behaviour and a passion to tell others about these incredible animals.”

Mark Habben, Head of Living Collections at Wildwood Trust, added: “We are excited to be able to offer the job of a lifetime to two people who are passionate about conservation and nature.

“In addition to working with the bison in the Blean woods, the successful individuals will work closely with the resident bison and the rest of the team at Wildwood Trust where they will benefit from the experience of the resident bison experts.

“This is a unique job and a first of its kind to be advertised in Britain. European Bison are a fascinating, important species in the UK and we look forward to the positive impact that they will have when inhabiting the Blean woods.”

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How much does it pay?

The position pays up to £27,000 per year, dependent on your skills and experience. The contract is listed as fixed term and full time working hours.

The role is based on West Blean and Thornden Woods in Kent.

How to apply

To apply for the position, you’ll need to download the application pack found via the Kent Wildlife Trust website. Fill it out, and submit your application alongside a covering letter and CV.

The closing date for the role is on Sunday 7 February at 5pm, with interviews taking place on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 February.