‘Loneliest job in the world’ looking after three uninhabited islands is up for grabs as ranger retires | The Sun

A JOB described as the loneliest one in the world which involves looking after three uninhabited islands is up for grabs as the ranger is set for retirement.

Jonathan Grant, 65, has spent a chunk of the last 13 years of his life sleeping in a tent in Barra, Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

The dad-of-three found himself in the isolated situation when applying for a job with National Trust Scotland (NTS) back in 2010.

Having ranger experience and already living in the area, Jonathan was now responsible for the islands of Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray, south of Barra.

Becoming acclimatised to working and living on the land, Jonathan said spending time away from his family never caused problems.

He spent six months of the year on the deserted islands.


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During the six winter months he would then move back to his family home where he was a self-employed builder.

Now planning to retire in October when the season ends, Jonathan said: "After I retire I'll probably keep doing the same sort of thing.

"We quite often have a seabird ranger on the tiny islands and there are a lot of visitors and campers.

"There's times when I'm on the island on my own, that's fine, it suits me.

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"I haven't spent the past 13 years in a tent. I've got a nice home and a wife on Barra.

"I only camp for a couple of weeks every summer."

Originally from Glasgow, Jonathan said he didn't want to live in a city after leaving school.

Moving to Barra and securing a job as a contractor, Jonathan has lived there ever since.

He added: "I moved up to Barra as I had family and friends there and got a job as a building contractor.

"That's always been my main employment.

"I don't get paid a huge amount but I work for six months, in winter I generally do building work self-employed.

"I got into working as a ranger about 20 years ago, before this job came up."

The islands were sold to NTS by the Barra Sheep-stock Islands in 2000.

The only living, breathing things there are Jonathan and the wildlife.

Sitting at the southern tip of the Outer Hebrides, the dramatic landscape and beautiful beaches make a stunning view.

Jonathan said: "There's seabirds nesting on the cliffs, the wildlife is unbelievable.

"There's sandy beaches and seals and basking sharks."

Despite loving his working role, Jonathan made the tough decision to leave because of his age.

Admitting it would be "unfair" to carry on, he now wants a younger person to take over and experience what he has.

All three deserted islands form part of the Bishop's Isles archipelago and are around 12miles from the nearest populated area of Barra.

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