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Staff interviews

St Kilda Ranger
Hi - I’m the Ranger on St Kilda. I live here all summer from April to September. I do lots of jobs –

I meet all the visitors that arrive by boat. I tell them what there is to see and do on the island. Some visitors are interested in bird watching, some in history, some just want to walk and look at the cliffs. I can tell them where the best places to go are and what to look out for. I also need to know where people are in case they get lost, then we can find them.

Most days I go for a walk - I always take binoculars with me, then I can look out for whales and dolphins and any birds. Although lots of birds spend the summer on St Kilda some birds only stop over for a few days while migrating north or south. Some birds get blown way off course in bad weather. Last year we had a crane and a snowy owl, both stayed for a few days and then left.

I love spending my summer on St Kilda, sometimes I miss my friends and family but there is always so much to see and do and new people to meet.

St Kilda Seabird and Marine Ranger
My job is to study the seabirds on St Kilda and study what’s under water.

There are over a million seabirds on St Kilda so I’m very busy! Every year we go to where the puffins nest and count how many eggs there are in the burrows. Later we go back to see how many have hatched. You have to put your arm down the burrow and feel for the chick. It doesn’t like it and can give you a nasty nip with its beak! I also count kittiwakes and guillemots, but I use a telescope for that as they nest on cliffs.

Underwater St Kilda is a beautiful and fantastic place. The water is very clear and full of life – there are forests of seaweed where fish and seals dart in and out. The rocks and cliffs underwater are covered in brightly coloured anemones, red and purple and orange, they look like flowers.

It’s great being on St Kilda and watching wildlife. Some people ask if I miss the TV or shops, but there’s so much to see and do I hardly miss it at all.

St Kilda Archaeologist
I spend all summer on St Kilda too. My main job is to help repair all the old buildings and look after the museum.

People have lived on St Kilda for thousands of years. They used to get everything they needed to survive from the island itself. The stones were used for buildings and tools, the seabirds and sheep for food and crops were grown in the fields.

Archaeologists look at the things that people have thrown away or left behind. It’s a bit like being a detective – you look at the things people have left and try to work out how they lived. There’s always something new to find and look at. I love trying to imagine what life was like hundreds of years ago.

When a wall falls down we have to repair it very carefully so it looks just right- we can’t use modern materials like concrete – that would be cheating! Some of the stones are really big, so you have to be quite strong and fit.

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