Staff receive further certification

Every member of our ecology team now holds Construction Skills Certification, which cements our position as having the required training and qualifications to work safely as ecologists and arboriculturalists on construction sites.

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is the national skills certification scheme for the UK construction industry. It covers skills such as health and safety legislation and hazard recognition.

It follows our accreditations by the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment and Constructionline in 2016 and 2017.

 

Students Go Batty For Work Experience

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An unusually warm autumn has meant more bats out in the evenings later in the year than normal. This provided students from East Coast College with a chance to gain bat survey experience on two different dusk surveys.

Ben Moore, Assistant Ecologist at NWS, said: “Our first site was along a stretch of the upper reaches of the river Bure surrounded by wet grassland and woodland edge. We had great views of noctules, one of our largest bats, as they foraged high in the twilight over the open grassland”.

students

East Coast College students gain experience by helping with bat surveys

“The students heard the characteristically slow slapping calls of the noctule, which distinguished it from most other species. Once it had become darker, we saw bats over the water, their white underbellies still visible. Coupled with distinctive rapid ‘machine gun’ like calls, this identified Daubenton’s bats using the river to feed on mosquitoes and other tasty morsels of the flying insect variety.”

“The second survey site was along a stretch of the Marriott’s way, a well-sheltered commuting and foraging route for bats with its tree-lined embankments. Here we observed common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle and used a handheld frequency detector to tell them apart as they zipped up and down the disused railway.””

 

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