Volunteers wanted to live on the wild Looe Island in Cornwall

A perfect sunset leaves Looe Island in shadow.

The sun sets over Looe Island - Credit: 50144889@N08, Flickr

For the right pair, this volunteer opportunity on Looe Island will offer hard but rewarding work on Cornwall’s gorgeous coast

Everyone feels like getting away once in a while and becoming one with nature. But how would you feel about spending four months on a deserted island off Cornwall’s coast? The Wildlife Trust are looking for two people to do just that and help with conservation efforts on Looe Island. 

A mile off the coast, Looe Island was inhabited as early as the Iron Age and plenty of Roman artefacts have been found over the years from coins to anchors. The tiny island has a long history of uses including as a remote chapel for Glastonbury Abbey. The rediscovery of said chapel featured on an episode of Time Team in 2008. It is now a nature reserve cared for by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust after the last owner and author, Babs Atkins, left it in her will to the charity.   

The island is home to a wealth of habitats and species. Could you be its next resident? The trust is looking for two people who could live together in close quarters for four months and take care of the island. They suggest you’ll need to be tight knit team, such as siblings, close friends, or partners, as the work can be quite isolating at times. The lucky pair will be living in a tent not unlike those used for glamping at Glastonbury but amenities will be limited. There’s no fridge or heating but you can BBQ and there is even the chance of limited Wi-Fi. 

Not that you’ll have much time for Netflix, the Trust have listed a pretty extensive set of tasks for the lucky volunteers. One half of the job is to give tours to guests who arrive by boat. The pair will receive training on the wildlife of the area and be able to pick them out to show tourists on their visit. They will then ensure the group get off the island at the end of the day, learning to use the tractor and beach landing trolley.  

But that’s only part of the job, the other half is island maintenance. The trust keeps a small flock of sheep and a group of chickens on the island which volunteers will be expected to look after. They’ll also be responsible for fixing paths, clearing dead flora, and painting sheds. There’ll also be time to photograph the local fauna for the charity’s social media. 

Whilst the work will be hard-going, it sounds like a pretty rewarding opportunity. The pair will work ten days on then have four days off where they can leave the island for some respite (maybe time to take a bubble bath!). Of course, this work pattern is subject to tides and weather so if its stormy, they may need to cancel any plans. The trust describes life on the island as “unpredictable” but the right candidates for the job will rise to the challenge.  

So, if you think you and your bestie would be up for the work, you have until the 14th of April to get an application in. No formal qualifications are required, just a readiness to get stuck in. Take a look at the full listing here.

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