Field of Science

Trapping mice in Scotland

If I had the time, here is a volunteer job I'd really like to take.

Volunteer wanted for 5 weeks from 5th March 2010, to help with live trapping of field mice on St Kilda (map), a small archipelago 180km off the west coast of Scotland.

Responsibilities consist of helping to set up trapping grids on remote parts of the island, prepping and cleaning traps, handling mice and recording data. You will be living as part of a small group of researchers in restored cottages on the remotest field site in the British Isles; the accommodation is fairly basic but the scenery is spectacular! A great opportunity to acquire small mammal field experience.

You must be available for the full duration of the field work, and should have a background in biological sciences. A good level of fitness and head for heights are essential, as the field work will involve carrying heavy equipment packs over steep and precipitous terrain in all weathers (and we do mean all weathers!).

Helicopter flights between St Kilda and Benbecula (Outer Hebrides) will be provided, as will food and board whilst on St Kilda. Reasonable travel expenses within Scotland will also reimbursed.

To apply for this volunteer position, please send a CV and covering letter, plus details of two referees who can be contacted at short notice by email to: Tom Black (


  1. would love to go, but unfortunately have other commitments. I had a chance to go there last summer, working on the bonxies (watch out for them, although you should be safe during outside the breeding season!). Good luck with it, and don't forget to do the chimney challenge!

  2. Sjurdur, questions:

    What are bonxies?
    How can they hurt you?
    What is the chimney challenge?


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