If you are passionate about wildlife and looking for the job of a lifetime Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust are looking to recruit the UK’s first-ever bison rangers.
The unique post – set to begin in Spring this year – forms part of the Wilder Blean rewilding project and will involve looking after and managing a small herd of wild European bison.
The groundbreaking conservation initiative, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will take place in Blean Wood near Canterbury with the aim of restoring the ecosystem of the area’s ancient woodlands.
Kent’s Wilder Blean project follows successful bison releases in Poland, Romania and the Netherlands, where the “ecosystem engineers” have improved habitats for other species to thrive by felling trees to create space. No other species can perform this job in quite the same way.
The bison must be kept in as wild a state as possible for them to display their natural behaviour and have the greatest positive impact on the environment and so careful management will be essential for this role.
The rangers will be responsible for compliance licenses, health checks, safety, infrastructure management, risk management and planning, and monitoring visitor interactions with the bison.
To provide the skills necessary to manage free-ranging bison, training will be provided as part of this role, which will involve spending time with ARK Natuur Ontwikkeling at several of their sites in the Netherlands.
“This is a truly 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,” said Stan Smith, Wilder Landscapes Manager at Kent Wildlife Trust.
“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. 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.”
To find out more about the role and to apply visit: kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/jobs
To find out more about the Wilder Blean project, go to kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/wilderblean