Job Vacancies

Jan 11, 2018

Animal Keeper

Wildwood Trust

Wildwood Trust is a unique British charity, dedicated to rewilding Britain through the restoration of wild habitats and reintroduction of extinct species. Wildwood became a Charity in 2002 and now works solely for wildlife conservation and public education. In 2015 we opened our second wildlife park taking over the Escot Estate in Devon. 

Our Mission is to inspire in the minds of people the wildlife that was once harboured in our wild woods and wild places and give them the inspiration, skills and ability to play an active role in its protection & restoration. 

Wildwood’s Vision is:

Bringing the joy of understanding British Wildlife, and formerly native wildlife, to as many people as possible through giving the best possible experience to our visitors.

Through education and training develop in the minds of people an understanding of wildlife, its history and its practical conservation

Build a commercially successful visitor centre that can be duplicated at suitable woodland sites across the UK.

The careful husbandry of Wildwood’s collection of British native, naturalised and once native wildlife.

Rewilding Britain through pioneering conservation projects & reintroductions to produce balanced and sustainable semi-natural ecological systems.

Scientific research to better understand how to deliver our mission to restore wild lands and their wildlife

Providing leadership, policy advice and practical demonstration of wildlife & environmentally friendly technologies, economic systems and lifestyles


This post is for a highly motivated person, who is practical and hard working.   


This role will suite a fit, practical person who can work outdoors during all weathers doing a physically demanding job.




•           Care for our collection of British native & once native wildlife


•           Build and maintain our natural woodland animal enclosures


•           To engage with the public through talks and demonstrations about our animals


•           Help our conservation projects to promote wildlife conservation


Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ

E-mail: [email protected] web: Tel: 01227 712111




Job Title:                Keeper.


Function:               Looking after the Wildwood animal collection and conservation projects.


Responsible to:       Head Keeper / Line manager.

Principal Duties

1.1          Looking after the Wildwood collection


Your primary focus will be the care of wildwood’s unique collection of British wildlife. This will encompass food preparation, feeding and cleaning.  


You will be responsible for the welfare and well being of the animals, monitoring health issues and improving their enclosures to provide behavioural enrichment.


You will take instruction from the Head keeper, working to priorities to achieve the best animal welfare within the resources we have.

1.2          Exhibit design and maintenance:


You will be required to assist in the day to day maintenance of exhibits so you will use small tools and do general DIY functions. 


You will have a substantial input into exhibit design and building to provide the highest standards on animal care and efficiency of operations.

1.3          Meeting zoo legislation:


You will help to keep animal records to meet all zoo legislation. You will follow all procedures on safe practice and hygiene regulations and records.

1.4          Internal Communications:


You will play a key role in the Keeper team and as such attend all staff meetings and produce any required reports. You will be expected to play a positive and helpful role in developing a happy productive team working towards common objectives as laid out by you line manager.

1.5          Human Resources:


You will be required to help to maintain TOIL time sheets and any other records as required.

1.6          Financial Administration:


You will be required to help in financial administration, playing a role in cost control and making financial systems effective. You will be required to help investigate and acquire animal food from local sources who donate them.

1.7          Health and Safety:


You will be required to support your line manager to ensure that Wildwood’s Health and Safety arrangements are effective, consistent and well documented.

1.8          Customer Care & animal talks


As a charity Wildwood’s ultimate success will depend on the value we can deliver to our members, donors and visitors. ‘Making every visitor a friend’ will be a key role for the post holder. This will give public animal feeds, help in organising themed weekends, and help run membership events, give guidance for effective signage and interpretation.  Above all this will be fostering a customer focused attitude within the keeper team. 


As a membership organisation Wildwoods success will depend on our ability recruit and retain members. This will involve instilling in your self a ‘customer focused ethos’ to actively engage visitors and recruit members through membership forms and giving advice on membership at every available opportunity. 


1.9          Conservation Projects


You will be required to look after animals in our captive breeding programme and to play an active role in our conservation and contract work. 


1.10      Special Projects:


From time to time, with direction from the Park Manager or your line manager, you will support the activities of other departments when it’s ‘all hands to the pump’.

Skills, Knowledge & Experience


2.1          Essential


The post-holder must have two years’ experience in a similar role. They will be mature in outlook, confident, hard working and practical. Common sense and the ability to concentrate and prioritise on the essentials of a task will be key elements of your personality. You will need to be prepared to work through peak times in what is a seasonal business. 


  • ·         A minimum work history of two years of paid employment, working with a range of relevant species, in a zoo or wildlife park.
  • ·         Demonstrable understanding of animal management.
  • ·         Experience of captive animal husbandry.
  • ·         The ability and desire to enhance and develop your knowledge.
  • ·         Ability to communicate effectively at all levels.
  • ·         Must be a team player with the ability to multi-task.
  • ·         A genuine love of British wildlife.
  • ·         Full clean drivers licence.

2.2          Desirable


Experience in these areas is desirable; you must be able to demonstrate recent practical experience in many of the below.                             


  • ·         Mammal husbandry and breeding.
  • ·         Bird husbandry and breeding.
  • ·         Reptile husbandry and breeding.
  • ·         Aquarium husbandry.
  • ·         Animal records and zims.
  • ·         Practical building work and construction.
  • ·         Giving public talks & demonstrations.
  • ·         Conservation reintroduction projects.
  • ·         Health and safety systems.
  • ·         A relevant animal qualification such as the DMZAA qualification.


Other Considerations


1.     The post is advertised as a full time


2.     Appointment will be subject to a six month probationary period.


3.     Understanding of and sympathy with Wildwood’s role as a conservation body would be helpful.


4.     No person shall be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, ethic or national origin, religion, colour, age or disability.  As an equal opportunities employer, applicants for staff vacancies shall be short listed for interview and appointed purely on the grounds of their suitability for the post as laid out in the advertised job description


5.     Wildwood operates a no smoking policy in the park and in its offices.4          Employment Package

The salary band for keepers is £15,868.00 per annum.  Finances permitting, salaries are updated once a year to allow for the rate of inflation.  


Normal working hours are a 37.5 hour week average over the year. Normal working hours will be from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm in winter and 8.00 am to 5.00 pm in summer with a lunch break of half an hour each day.  Your monthly pay will reflect the hours you work. 


Due to the nature of the work you will be required to work bank holidays, weekends and some evenings. Overtime is not usually paid, but time may be taken off in lieu. The holiday allowance is 30 days a year, this includes statutory holidays. 


Appointments are subject to confirmation after a six-month probation period.

Procedure for Applicants


5.1          Applications


Application is by C.V. and must contain the following information: 


  • ·         Name, address, contact phone numbers at home and work (for discreet calls only)
  • ·         Employment history
  • ·         Educational history 


You should include a statement of the relevant skills and experience that you believe you will bring to the job, paying careful attention to the requirements of the job outlined above.


You should give two referees to whom we can turn for a confidential reference, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer.  References will only be taken up for those candidates chosen for interview or, with regard to current employer, on offer of contract. 


Applications will not normally be acknowledged unless submitted by email, which receive an auto response.  Applications should be sent to Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7LQ. Or [email protected] 


The closing date for applications is February 14th 2018


5.2          Interview & Selection Procedure


Interviews and selection tests will be held at Wildwood Park at Wealden Forest Park, Herne Common by arrangement during the following two weeks after the closing date for applications. The interview may involve working alongside our keepers for a trial.




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