Why work for us?…

When you join Wildwood Escot you become part of a small but ambitious team of dedicated and passionate people who aspire to continuously develop and expand our park. This in turn contributes to the Trust’s overall aim and mission to protect, conserve and rewild British Wildlife. Everything we do, whichever position you are in, impacts on and contributes to that aim: every employee has an important role to play within Wildwood Escot. We celebrate when things are going well; we pull together with a strong teamwork ethic when the going gets tough. We believe employee development is fundamental to a high performing, happy and engaged workforce, therefore we invest in your training and support. We care about your well-being. We employ people who share our values and vision and this is demonstrated in their commitment to their colleagues and their exemplary customer service provision. You work for us knowing your efforts are making a difference to the lives of native and formerly native British animals and you are helping to conserve and restore Britain’s wild spaces for future generations.



Job Title:                  SENIOR KEEPER – Maternity Cover (full time – 12 months)

Location:                   Wildwood Escot, EX11 1LU

Department:            Keepers

Job title:                     Senior Keeper – Maternity Cover

Reporting to:            General Manager/Head of Living Collections

Term:                           12 Month contract

Salary:                         According to qualification and experience

Hours of work:        45 per week (5 days, 8am to 5pm)


Position Overview

Reporting directly to the General Manager, the post-holder will be able to demonstrate thorough experience in all aspects of animal management including large Category One animals. They will be self-motivated, hardworking, practical, conscientious, and able to confidently lead and motivate their team to deliver the highest standards on all departmental responsibilities with particular regard to animal welfare and health & safety.

The post requires a thorough understanding of and demonstrable experience in:

  • All aspects of animal husbandry
  • Animal diet including assessment of nutritional needs, diet planning, food preparation and management of animal food supplies
  • Design, delivery and evaluation of animal enrichment
  • Animal health and welfare surveillance
  • Liaising with veterinary professionals and overseeing/administering prescribed care
  • Animal recordkeeping including ZIMS
  • Practical enclosure design and basic maintenance
  • Animal capture, restraint and transport
  • All aspects of secure animal containment
  • Escape and emergency procedures
  • Zoo license requirements
  • The assessment of risk in both routine works and specific events such as animal movements
  • The delivery of public talks to audiences of all sizes and ages
  • The safe delivery of a range of animal experiences involving members of the public

The post holder will be responsible for keeper team management including:

  • Duty rotas, timesheets, holidays, sickness and absence
  • Individual staff welfare matters
  • Health & safety matters
  • Assisting the General Manager in recruitment and disciplinary matters

In the day-to-day management of the team, the post holder will demonstrate efficient time and skills management, effective delegation and oversight, giving due consideration to individual team members’ experience, skill sets, qualifications, etc.

The post holder will demonstrate the ability to assess the training requirements of the team, arrange appropriate training, coaching and support where necessary, ensuring effective skills transfer and development.

The post holder will be responsible for a range of departmental administration including:

  • Coordinating with Wildwood Kent on the upkeep of animal records including:
    • animal acquisitions, dispositions, births, deaths
    • medical notes including administration of on-site medical supplies
    • keeper diaries
    • preparing reports for local and zoo license authorities when required
  • Administration of legislative obligations including:
    • Maintenance of individual animal licensing, tagging, passports, etc.
    • Preparations for zoo license inspections
    • Animal acquisitions and transfers
  • Assisting the General and Deputy Managers in the administration of departmental budget including:
    • Proper procurement procedures
    • Managing expenditure/wastage
    • Ensuring operational cost control


Additional responsibilities include assuming the role of Duty Manager in the absence of the General and Deputy Managers.


Main Duties and Responsibilities

The primary focus of the role will be ensuring the highest standards of care in Wildwood’s unique collection of British wildlife. This will encompass:

  • Food preparation, feeding, cleaning and husbandry
  • Animal health and welfare surveillance
  • Provision of appropriate behavioural enrichment
  • Monitoring and maintenance of animal enclosures including containment checks

Working with the Head of Living Collections the post holder will:

  • Deliver on the aims of the Institutional Collection Plan
  • Oversee adherence to operational policies, procedures and systems to ensure that the highest standards of animal welfare are maintained
  • Oversee adherence to all operational policies to ensure the safety, wellbeing and development of staff
  • Assist in the management of breeding within the collection including the acquisition and disposition of animals
  • Assist in the design and development of new animal exhibits



The post holder will be mature, confident and flexible, able to carry out tasks independently, able to work effectively in a team, both as leader and member. In a busy diverse working environment, the ability to identify and address problems acting with confidence on one’s own initiative is essential.

As a departmental senior, you will need the ability to deal confidently with strong willed colleagues whilst maintaining healthy team morale. Common sense and the ability to concentrate and prioritise on the essentials of a task will be key elements of your personality.

Being a team player with the ability to inspire confidence and loyalty will be essential to effectively support the General Manager in the delivery of the trust’s aims and objectives.

In addition, the role requires:

  • Extensive practical experience of working with a range of animals within a zoological collection
  • Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals (DMZAA) level or equivalent qualification
  • Demonstrable experience in team leadership
  • Demonstrable experience of working safely with large carnivores
  • The willingness and ability to enhance and develop your personal experience and knowledge
  • A genuine love of British wildlife
  • A full clean UK driving license



Experience in these areas is desirable:

  • Captive breeding
  • Practical building work and construction
  • Giving public talks & demonstrations
  • Conservation and reintroduction projects


Other Considerations

Whilst firearms certification and experience is highly valued, it is not an essential requirement for acceptance to the post. However, the successful applicant will be expected to apply for certification and form part of the zoo’s firearms response team.

  • The post is advertised as a full time 12 month contact
  • Appointment will be subject to a three-month probationary period.
  • No person shall be treated less favourably than any 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
  • Wildwood operates a no smoking policy in the park and in its offices.


Procedure for Applicants

Applications should be made in writing and must contain the following information:

  • Covering letter, including a statement of relevant skills and experience
  • CV including full employment/educational history and relevant qualifications

Applications lacking any of the above will not be considered.

Please send your application to kerry.church@wildwoodtrust.org

The closing date for applications is Sunday 19th July 2020.


Interview & Selection Procedure

Interviews will be held at Wildwood Escot during the week following the closing date for applications. The interview will not entail any presentations or tests.



Job Title:      Membership Recruiter and Visitor Services Assistant

Location:        Escot Park, Ottery St Mary

Term:             Permanent/seasonal

Function:      Recruiting Members and all Visitor Services Functions

Site Line Manager:   Visitor Services Manager

Hours:            Part time/variable

Salary:           DOE

Posted date: 28/01/2020

Closing date: 10/02/2020


Membership Recruiter and Visitor Services Assistant Position:

Are you a vibrant, enthusiastic and approachable person who prides themselves on putting customers first? Do you enjoy a challenge? Are you driven to beat targets which make a vital contribution to a worthwhile cause? Are you passionate about animals and wildlife? If so, this could be the job for you.

Wildwood Escot’s visitor services team play a crucial role in the charity’s ability to achieve its mission, vision and objectives. As a membership organisation, Wildwood depends greatly on the visitor services team to recruit and retain members as the main priority. Alongside this, you must obtain gift aid declarations whilst maintaining the highest standards of customer care at all times.

To excel in this role, you will need personality and drive to serve and sell to our customers. You will be confident, enthusiastic, resilient and an excellent communicator to inform, advise and support our visitors. You will understand our mission, be able to actively engage visitors and recruit members by your passion for wildlife, your knowledge of the products, services and facilities we offer and by your understanding of our contribution to the conservation of British species and wild spaces.

The Visitor Services team are the ‘faces of Wildwood’ – they are usually the initial people visitors have contact with and first impressions count. It is essential you represent Wildwood Escot warmly and professionally at all times. You will be well presented with good personal hygiene.

You will contribute to the charity’s aims by:

  • providing exemplary customer service to all members, visitors, guests and donors
  • meeting and exceeding targets for membership recruitment and obtaining gift aid declarations
  • building excellent rapports with visitors and members
  • ensuring all other visitor services tasks are carried out to a high standard

What’s in it for you?…

  • You’ll be part of a great team of people who enjoy what they do and who have a lot of fun.
  • You’ll be part of an amazing organisation which is striving to improve British animals’ lives and futures.
  • You’ll be working in a beautiful setting in the middle of Devon’s countryside.
  • You and your immediate family have free entry to our Wildwood sites.
  • You’ll receive staff discount in the café and shop.
  • Free onsite parking.

To find out more about us and the role…

To learn about Wildwood Escot and to see if you are a good fit for this position, download the job description and person specification.

To apply, please email your CV and a covering letter to jaie@wildwoodtrust.org or post to

Jaie Goddard
Assistant Park Manager
Wildwood Escot
Escot Park
Ottery St Mary
Devon, EX11 1LU