Warden needed to maintain dyke for unique North Ronaldsay sheep

Native sheep are a vital part of the island's economy
Native sheep are a vital part of the island's economy

A warden is wanted to restore North Ronaldsay’s unique sheep dyke on the Orkney islands to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

The warden will be responsible for carrying out a pre-determined programme of rebuilding and repairs to the 6ft tall, 13-mile sheep dyke.

He or she will be responsible for managing and carrying out repairs to the temporary fencing erected where the sheep dyke has been damaged, and to coordinate and work with groups of volunteer dyke builders.

The North Ronaldsay sheep breed, which live on the Scottish Orkney archipelago, is the oldest in Northern Europe and among the most rare in the world.

According to an investigation of old bones on Orkney, their DNA is 8,000 years old, as old as the origins of island agriculture itself.

The sheep live wild on the shores of the northernmost island of the archipelago and have earned the nickname 'seaweed sheep' due to the closed-flock's uniqueness in thriving exclusively on the shoreline.

The dyke was constructed around the entire island in the 1800s to keep the sheep on the rocky shore.

North Ronaldsay sheep have genetically adapted over the centuries to thrive on their foraged seaweed diet that imparts an exceptional and unique flavour.

Posting the job advert, North Ronaldsay Trust said the successful applicant will have a good level of physical fitness, have good communication skills and experience of dry stone dyking and project management is desirable.

A willingness to work constructively with the local community is also essential and the applicant must be able to work on his or her own initiative.

The closing date for applications is Friday 9th August 2019, and interviews will be held from the end of August.

Please contact vacancies@northronaldsay.com for more information.