Water vole ecology and survey course 2017

Want to learn more about the elusive water voles and how to spot their signs ?  Then come along to our informative training day at NWT Hickling Broad Nature Reserve and learn about their ecology, habitats and surveys.
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© Alex McLennan

The course will give you :

  • an introduction to water voles and their ecology,
  • current population trends and distributions
  • updates on the most recent legislation,
  • a practical outdoor session looking for water voles “in the wild”
  • what signs to look out for on the river banks that show water voles are living there.

The morning session will include an introduction to water voles and their ecology; covering water vole lifecycles, habitats, food, predators, the problems they face, reasons for population decline and current legislation. In the afternoon we will venture outside looking at survey techniques and recording forms, equipment, safe surveying, how and where to look for signs, identifying potential water vole habitat and field signs.

HousekeepingMuch of the afternoon will be spent out in the field; we will also have use of the Visitor Centre facilities.

Please bring wellington boots, suitable outdoor clothes and waterproofs.  We recommend bringing a pair of practical gloves for ground searching and a strong walking stick or similar (for support and for parting vegetation). It is also advisable to bring insect repellant.

Hot drinks and biscuits will be provided, but please bring your own packed lunch.

Workshop Leaders: Sue Traer

Date and Time: Wednesday 21st June 2017, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Location: NWT Hickling Broad, Norfolk (NR12 0BW)

Cost: £75.00 plus V.A.T (£45.00 plus V.A.T for concessions)

Booking: To book a place, contact Carolyn Smith at Norfolk Wildlife Services by emailing carolyns @ norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk, or by telephoning 01603 625 540.

Bittern’s Breakfast and Avocet’s Lunch

Ever wondered what Cley’s birds eat for brekkie and lunch ?

Find out by joining us at Cley Marshes on Thursday 17th September. On this full day workshop, we will be looking at what delicacies the bitterns, avocets and other waders, wildfowl and gulls dine on at Cley Marshes in restaurants such as saline pools, reedbed and mudflats, and how coastal ecology provides the menus.

After a morning classroom briefing on coastal ecology and birds, and some “here’s some we prepared earlier” tastings, we will be ‘grubbing’ about in the marshes in a “behind-the-scenes” practical session to look for delicacies on the menu for birds. We will test various sampling methods using nets, forks, spades, buckets and sieves.  Getting covered in mud optional – and sandwiches are available instead of eating the avocet’s lunch !

There will be an afternoon session to examine samples upclose in the lab for a gourmet –
session separating food into their main taxonomic groups and training in using keys to
identify as far as possible.

If you want to see the difference between a ragworm and a lugworm – and a goby and a blenny – and to know a bit more about what Cley’s bird eat, this is a course for you.

The workshop will be lead by Norfolk marine wildlife expert, Rob Spray, who is an enthusiastic and entertaining tutor, ably assisted by NWS invert expert Ben Christie.

STOP PRESS : Ben Moore will present a summary of his thesis on the changes to the marsh invert community due to the storm surge.

Workshop Tutors: Rob Spray, Ben Christie

Date and Time: Thursday 17th September 2015, 10:30 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Cley Nature Reserve

Cost: £75 plus V.A.T., or £45 plus V.A.T. for concessions, including lunch.

Booking: To book a place, contact Ben Christie at Norfolk Wildlife Services by emailing benc@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk, or by telephoning 01603 625 540.

See also http://www.environmentjob.co.uk/courses_events

Badger training course – Stoke Holy Cross

Badger training course, Stoke Holy Cross 2014

Badger training course, Stoke Holy Cross 2014

We run a programme of specialist wildlife and ecology courses and seminars annually, open to all, using locally based trainers, and often using Norfolk Wildlife Trust nature reserves. We base the programmes on client requests for the year and have included botanical surveying at Hickling, a lunchtime talk on wildlife legislation from the police, and the ever popular water voles. We also provide equipment like binoculars and magnifying glasses.

The recent badger course at Stoke Holy Cross involved a formal classroom session in church hall, looking at ecology and theory, followed by a walk in nearby woods in  the afternoon. Participants were able to try out their survey techniques to find snuffle holes, scratching posts and main and subsidiary setts.  Whilst not able to see badgers themselves, the 9 participants gained a thorough grounding in badger biology.

Following this recent course learning about the ecology of badgers an attendee Natalie Gilbert commented:
“The course provided a very thorough grounding in the biology and ecology of badgers.  The fieldwork tips on distinguishing badger signs from other mammals and advice for badger watching were a highlight”.

For more details on our current courses follow this link : Current training courses