Wanted keeper for 400 acre Scottish island … with just birds for company

No trips abroad? Wanted keeper for a 400 acre Scottish island … with just birds for company – and you must have ‘powerboat driving skill’

  • L’Isle Martin advertises a new caretaker to take care of the island
  • The water can only be heated on a wood stove and there is hardly any electricity.
  • The work takes place from June to the end of September and the deadline is Tuesday

It’s the perfect summer getaway for those who don’t want to worry about social distancing or the vacation green list – an uninhabited island with only birds for company.

An opportunity presented itself for a caretaker to take care of a 400 acre Scottish island. Martin Island was the site of a monastery, herring processing station, and flour mill, but is now designated as a bird sanctuary.

Water can only be heated on a wood stove and there is just enough electricity to charge a phone or laptop.

An opportunity presented itself for a caretaker to look after a 400 acre Scottish island, Isle Martin

Beyond the island are the Summer Isles – believed to have inspired the pagan horror film The Wicker Man.

The position is open to one or two people sharing an expense of £ 150 per week, but at least one ‘must have motorboat driving skills’ as the nearest mainland is just under a mile to Ardmair in the Highlands.

The job runs from June to the end of September and the deadline to apply is Tuesday.

The Isle Martin Trust was established in May 1999 as the custodian of the island on behalf of the communities of Lochbroom and Coigach after being donated by the RSPB.

Now he wants a “temporary resident” janitor / housekeeper.

“ Expressions of interest are invited to post a voluntary post on our community-owned island from June to the end of September 2021, ” the announcement reads.

“This post is open to one or two people sharing.

“ The warden will manage his own tasks defined in agreement with the administrators (e.g. cleaning toilets, supervising / performing Covid-compliant disinfection, meeting and welcoming visitors, assisting visiting volunteers, handling cash) equivalent to approximately three hours a day.

Water can only be heated on a wood stove and there is just enough electricity to charge a phone or laptop

Water can only be heated on a wood stove and there is just enough electricity to charge a phone or laptop

“It is possible to take advantage of many opportunities offered by the island, such as ornithology, walking, water sports, art, archeology, gardening, general maintenance of the land, buildings and of the environment.

“We welcome volunteers who bring specific skills that they may wish to share for the benefit of the community during their time on the island.

“Basic accommodation is provided free of charge and probably in the Boa house. There is running cold water and limited quantities can be heated by a wood stove. The only electricity available is sufficient to charge a phone / laptop.

“At least one candidate must have motor boat driving skills.

“Expenses of £ 150 / week available. No other expense is available for location on the island, although use of the boat is free.

The island has visitors in the summer, transported by ferry, and a few properties that can be rented out for a seasonal stay. But no decision has yet been made this year due to the pandemic.

To apply, applicants should write a maximum of 500 words describing themselves, their relevant knowledge, experience and skills and the reasons why they should be considered for the position.

There is little documented history of Martin Island prior to the late 18th century, although the island must have been an important place for many years before that. It is likely that the island has been inhabited intermittently for several thousand years.

The only specific, but anecdotal, references relate to a Saint Martin known to have established a monastery on the island, probably around 300-400 AD and who gave the island his name.


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