Connecting linkedin




The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is a UK charity that focuses on understanding birds and, in particular, how and why bird populations are changing. Our vision is of a world where people are inspired by birds and informed by science.

We are recruiting several Trustees to join our Board. BTO Trustees work with the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Leadership Team to create and drive the organisational strategy, bringing a range of valuable expertise from their own broad knowledge and experience. Board members have overall legal responsibility for the BTO, ensuring financial regulatory and monitoring performance. The Board meets four times a year, in March, July, September and December, and Trustees have the opportunity to lead discussions, identify key issues and provide advice and guidance on new initiatives, all of which help BTO to achieve its vision and mission.

We are committed to working towards greater representation on our Board and tackling the barriers to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) so if you are interested in supporting our work but perhaps you are early on in your career or think you may not have the breadth of experience required please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss how we can work with you.

Trustees ensure that BTO:

  • complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations;
  • pursues its objects as defined in its governing document;
  • applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects;
  • safeguards its good name and the values of the organisation;
  • is effectively and efficiently administered
  • is financially stable
  • protects and manages its property and ensures the proper investment of the charity's funds;
  • appoints the CEO and monitors their performance.

We are interested in hearing from anyone who is passionate about contributing to BTO as a Trustee and is able to demonstrate:

  • Commitment to the mission and values of the BTO
  • Willingness to meet the minimum time requirement
  • Integrity, vision and good independent judgement
  • Ability to think creatively, make an individual contribution and work effectively as a member of a team to take decisions for the good of the BTO
  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.

Due to upcoming retirements, if you have a particular interest, skill set, knowledge, or experience in any of the areas highlighted below then we have some great opportunities for you to get involved:

Ringing (including a future Chair of the Ringing Committee)

  • Qualified ringer (preferably S permit holder, as training and guidance is a key RIN focal area) involved in as wide a range of ringing activities (taxa/methods) as possible
  • Experience of collaborative/committee working, e.g. producing agendas, chairing meetings, delegation, organising reporting
  • Good understanding of RIN role (advisory, non-executive committee providing support to staff and 'critical friend' feedback, overseeing sub-committees with core operational function)
  • Good knowledge of Ringing and Nest Record Scheme funding structure and dependencies (split between government, BTO and volunteers and between licensing and data-facing contracts)
  • Experience in communications, popular or scientific, involving volunteer and/or members of public an advantage
  • Good knowledge of Ringing and Nest Record Scheme monitoring and analytical deliverables an advantage

Finance (including a future treasurer)

  • Qualified accountant advantageous but not essential for the right applicant
  • Generalist financial experience
  • Business development
  • Commercial knowhow
  • Charity experience not essential

Strategic IS/Systems

  • Project management in an Information Systems context
  • Experience with development of cloud computing
  • Secure and flexible networked systems for a hybrid workforce

We are also interested in hearing from people with backgrounds in HR, Fundraising, Commercial, Legal or Business.

You will have the opportunity to make a real difference with a charity that has an unparalleled reputation for engaging volunteer science that has significant impact for the conservation of birds and other wildlife.

This is a voluntary, unpaid position with expenses reimbursed while travelling to meetings.

To find out more, please contact Sian Knott, Head of People and OD at or visit our careers page at for full details.

Closing date: Friday 14 May at 1 pm

Interview date: Thursday 10 - Friday 11 June (likely to be held remotely)

BTO headquarters are based at Thetford in Norfolk, and we have offices and staff at the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge, Stirling University, Bangor University and Northern Ireland.