Former Loch Leven Reserve manager gets island posting

The pair will be working at Handa island Wildlife Reserve.
The pair will be working at Handa island Wildlife Reserve.

A former manager of the Loch Leven nature reserve has been recruited to help look after wildlife on a remote island off the west coast of Scotland.

Craig Nisbet, a former resident of Milnathort, and Francesca Clair have been made seasonal rangers at the Handa Island Wildlife Reserve off the west coast of Sutherland.

The remote island in the Inner Hebrides is internationally important for seabirds including guillemots with an estimated 100,000 birds visiting every year.

The pair will live and work on the island from March to September 2018 and be joined by up to six long term and 50 weekly volunteers over the season.

Mr Nisbet has spent the last 10 years with Scottish Natural Heritage including four continuous seasons as reserve manager of Noss National Nature Reserve in Shetland and worked in Arctic Norway identifying and filming orcas and humpback whales.

He said: “Francesca and I are passionate about conservation. We’re both looking forward to working and living with volunteers, meeting the visitors, and making a connection with the land, the sea and the local community.”

Ms Clair has worked for several environmental organisations, focusing on education, community development and conservation, both in the UK and abroad.

The couple will help to manage co-ordinated counts of breeding seabirds and chicks, oversee repair work taking places on Handa’s path network and ensure thousands of people are able to enjoy a safe visit to the island.