The Wild Heart Ecologist post presents an exciting new opportunity to join the work of Borders Forest Trust to lead on developing and delivering a monitoring programme for the Wild Heart Sites and to input into habitat restoration works on these sites.

The South of Scotland has one of the lowest land covers of native woodland in the country and BFT was formed to address this issue, delivering a landscape scale ecological restoration initiative called “Reviving the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland” on its four landholdings:

  • Carrifran Wildwood
  • Corehead & the Devil’s Beef Tub
  • Talla & Gameshope
  • and Ericstane

Together these sites span over 3,250ha of stunning uplands and valleys in the Central Southern Upland Hills where a range of upland habitats are being restored.

The part time post has been created to develop and deliver a monitoring programme to assess the impact of the habitat restoration work being carried out across the Wild Heart sites. Two of the sites have been included in pilot monitoring programmes and this role will initially focus on facilitating the delivery of these.

First is at Carrifran which will take part in Rewilding Britain’s monitoring framework pilot and will monitor metrics that will provide data on Biodiversity, Complexity, Heterogeneity, Connectivity and Ecosystem Function/process themes.

The second is at Ericstane and is part of the IUCN Peatlands Project, FIRNS funded Biodiversity Credit Monitoring Framework which is setting out a framework that can be used to assess and monitor biodiversity changes that can be translated into credits. The ecologist will lead on the delivery of these programmes and role out a programme of monitoring different metrics across all Wild Heart Sites to evidence changes occurring as a result of undertaking landscape scale habitat restoration works. Beyond the Wild Heart Sites, there is scope for involvement in ecological aspects relating to other work of the Trust

Principles Duties:
• To develop and deliver a monitoring programme, initially relating to the delivery of pilot projects at Carrifran and Ericstane.
• To undertake surveys and co-ordinate survey work with external contractors to ensure that different monitoring metrics are assessed.
• To summarise results of the survey and monitoring work and produce associated reports and promote findings
• To work with BFT Ecological Sub-Committee to influence direction of work on the Wild Heart Sites
• To develop monitoring and surveying programme of activity with the Wild Heart Project Officer that can be undertaken with volunteers
• To work closely with the Wild Heart Team and input to practical conservation works being undertaken, such as tree planting and montane scrub creation to ensure the right trees are planted in the right place.
• To compile and collate the results of previous surveys and research carried out in the Wild Heart Sites and explore potential for research opportunities.
• To liaise with those undertaking research on the Wild Heart Sites and collate results from external studies undertaken.
• To ensure good photo-documentation of activities, and to contribute to BFT social media

How to Apply Please send an up-to-date CV (max 4 pages) and a covering letter (max 2 pages) setting out why you are a great fit for the role to recruitment@bordersforesttrust.org by midnight on Wednesday 19th June 2024. Interviews are planned for Wednesday 26th June 2024 at the BFT offices near Ancrum, Jedburgh.

The job description including person specifications can be found here.