Previous events

Earthworm key testing workshop

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
FULLY BOOKED

Preston Montford, Shropshire

Earthworm expert (and Earthworm Society of Britain President) Emma Sherlock is in the process of updating the current FSC Key to the Identification of Earthworms of the UK & Ireland (published by The Field Studies Council). The second edition will contain live photos of earthworms, updated taxonomy and a key to some of the non-native earthworm species that have been found in British greenhouses and botanical gardens.

At this event the Earthworm Society of Britain (ESB) will be testing a draft of the second edition at a free workshop at FSC Preston Montford, Shropshire. 

The workshop will be lead by the author of the key, Emma Sherlock, and the ESB recording officer, Keiron Derek Brown. The workshop will run from 11:00 to 16:00 and provide a unique opportunity to be involved in the testing and development of an identification key.

We would like a mix of abilities, so both experienced earthworm recorders and those new to earthworm identification are welcome. Places are limited and must be booked in advance by contacting Keiron Brown.

Please note that the workshop will involve the use of ethanol and the preserved specimens. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own specimens, though any live specimens will need to be preserved on the day.

THESE COURSES ARE NOW FULLY SUBSCRIBED BUT YOU CAN STILL CONTACT KEIRON TO RESERVE A SPACE IN THE CASE OF ANY DROP-OUTS.

Shropshire Ento Day 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016
PAST COURSES

Ento Day 2016 is the 7th annual Shropshire Entomology Day. We are hosted by Preston Montford Field Centre (Field Studies Council). The programme for the day is yet to be finalised but there will be a similar mix of presentations to the 2015 event which covered, for example, dragonflies, springtails, Rothamsted traps, multi-access keys, ecology of Small Nettle, biological control and much more.

Attendees are free to bring displays, specimens, photographs, posters – in fact anything invertebrate related that you think may be of interest to others. The Invert Challenge Library and collections will be available to peruse.

The event is subsidised by the FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity Project enabling us to halve the true cost to attendees. The £5 attendance fee includes tea & coffee, lunch and afternoon cake. 

Registration and coffee from 10 am for a 10:30 am start. The event will conclude by 4 pm.

A holistic and practical introduction to QGIS (Slapton Ley, Devon)

Monday, November 21, 2016 to Wednesday, November 23, 2016

In response to demand, generated through the FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity QGIS courses, FSC is expanding its capacity to deliver QGIS training through a new partnership with Matt Davies. Matt Davies is a professional ecologist and geographer with 20 years’ experience in the UK environment sector, spending time at JNCC and London's Environmental Record Centre, GiGL. In 2015, he founded the geo-spatial consultancy Maplango to help people collect, analyse and visualise spatial data so they can make better informed decisions. Matt will be running two residential QGIS courses courses for FSC in 2016 including this one at Slapton Ley.

The course is suitable for beginners to GIS, those looking to refresh their skills or those looking to migrate to QGIS software. It will help ecological consultants, wildlife organisations, biological recorders and recent graduates to visualise, explore and analyse spatial data.The course will take a holistic approach to ensure participants have the skills needed to confidently implement GIS projects in the workplace. General topics will include GIS fundamentals, data licencing, map design, spatial data management and work-flow design. A series of practical exercises will give participants hands-on experience and build confidence working with raster and vector data.

A holistic and practical introduction to QGIS (Juniper Hall, Surrey)

Friday, November 18, 2016 to Sunday, November 20, 2016
FULLY BOOKED

In response to demand, generated through the FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity QGIS courses, FSC is expanding its capacity to deliver QGIS training through a new partnership with Matt Davies. Matt Davies is a professional ecologist and geographer with 20 years’ experience in the UK environment sector, spending time at JNCC and London's Environmental Record Centre, GiGL. In 2015, he founded the geo-spatial consultancy Maplango to help people collect, analyse and visualise spatial data so they can make better informed decisions.

Matt will be running two residential QGIS courses courses for FSC in 2016 including this one at Juniper Hall. The course is suitable for beginners to GIS, those looking to refresh their skills or those looking to migrate to QGIS software. It will help ecological consultants, wildlife organisations, biological recorders and recent graduates to visualise, explore and analyse spatial data. The course will take a holistic approach to ensure participants have the skills needed to confidently implement GIS projects in the workplace. General topics will include GIS fundamentals, data licencing, map design, spatial data management and work-flow design. A series of practical exercises will give participants hands-on experience and build confidence working with raster and vector data.

Springtails ID peer-mentoring workshop

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

An informal 'lab day' at Preston Montford where anyone is welcome to try their hand, or improve their skills, at identifying springtails. It would be great to get a bit more help with the identification of sprintails towards the Shropshire Springtail Atlas. If you'd like to come along, contact Charlie or Rich by email. There's no charge for the day, just bring a packed lunch. The workshop will be open between 10 am and 4 pm and you can come and go as you like.

Using QGIS to work with Biological Records

Thursday, October 27, 2016
FULLY BOOKED

During this course, participants will find out how to visualise and work with biological records using QGIS. In particular, instruction will be given on using the FSC Tom.bio Productivity Tools plugin for QGIS.

We will cover topics like mapping biological records from spreadsheets, linking to NBN web services to display NBN grid maps in QGIS, styling biological records, downloading raw biological record data from the NBN through QGIS and mapping them, working with OS grid references and grids within QGIS, ‘mashing up’ maps from other sources to display alongside your own biological records.

Previous experience of QGIS and an understanding of how to carry out basic operations within QGIS are pre-requisites for this course. If you are a complete novice, consider attending our ‘Introduction to the Fundamentals of QGIS’ course first.

An Introduction to the Fundamentals of QGIS

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
FULLY BOOKED

During this course, participants will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of GIS and basic operations of QGIS. We will cover topics like obtaining and displaying basemap data (e.g. Ordnance Survey basemaps and Google & Bing aerial imagery), capturing spatial data, loading data from GPS smart-phone apps or hand-held GPS, producing maps for reports or for display on the web.

This course does not include instruction on using the FSC Tom.bio Productivity Tools plugin for QGIS, but it is suitable preparation for those wishing to attend the course ‘Using QGIS to work with Biological Records’ which does.

Shropshire Spider Group 'lab' day

Sunday, October 2, 2016

This is a day for which we have organised use of a Preston Montford classroom for members and associates of the Shropshire Spider Group to come along and do some 'communal spidering'. There is no charge for attending this event, but you should email either Nigel or Rich if you are intending to come along.

Spider photography and introductory identification

Friday, September 23, 2016 to Sunday, September 25, 2016

This course combines an extended introduction to spider identification, encompassing both field and microscopic techniques, with a instruction on photographing spiders in the field. The course is run by Lawrence Bee who is authoring a new Wildguide (a photographic field guide) to British spiders, due to be published in 2016, and Alex Hyde, an expert wildlife photographer.

Harvestmen - ecology and identification

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The open nature of this workshop is designed to be suitable both for relative beginners in Harvestman ID and those wishing to take their Harvestman ID and recording to the next level. There will be a chance to try out a new multi-access key developed by Tomorrow’s Biodiversity in association with Paul Richards - author and photographer of the highly regarded FSC fold-out Guide to Harvestmen of the British Isles. The day will inlcude an introduction to the British harvestmen; a discussion of the finer points of ID with the aid of Paul's excellent harvestman photographs; a field session to find and identify harvestmen.

Earthworm Society of Britain Identification Weekend - Devon

Saturday, September 10, 2016 to Sunday, September 11, 2016

This two day earthworm sampling and identification course, hosted by the FSC's Slapton Ley Field Centre, is suitable for those with no earthworm experience through to fully trained earthworm recorders. Please note that the sampling day will require a reasonable level of fitness and the collection and preservation of specimens.

Course fees: Non-members: £20 (includes 1 year membership and recorder pack); Members: £15 (includes recorder pack). ESB Trained Earthworm Recorders: No fee (though current membership is required). For more information and to book a place on the course please contact Keiron Brown.

Blowfly ID and ecology at FSC Bishop's Wood, Worcestershire

Friday, September 9, 2016

Learn about blowfly identification and ecology under the expert guidance of one of the country's leading entomologists - Steven Falk. This is a course suited to amateur naturalists who would like to increase their recording portfolio, forensic entomologists requiring training on identifying adults, and vets involved with sheep-strike analysisSteven will introduce you to all of Britain's blowflies and show you how to identify them either using external morphology or dissection of the genitalia (surprisingly easy). If the weather is good, we will also attempt to collect living blowflies and learn which species can be identified reliably in the field. For further details follow this link.

Field Identification of Spiders & Harvestmen

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Many spiders and harvestmen can be identified and recorded in the field, with the aid a simple piece of kit called a spi-pot, before being released again. There will be classroom sessions and practice at identifying spiders and harvestmen in the field. We will collect live spiders and harvestmen around the grounds of Preston Montford and bring them back into the classroom for a closer look, before releasing them. We will talk about how you can get help with spider identification and submitting records.

Introduction to Biological Recording - Malham Tarn

Friday, August 12, 2016 to Sunday, August 14, 2016

This course is aimed at the naturalist who wants to become more involved in biological recording. We will help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of UK biological recording! Through a mixture of formal and informal teaching and field sessions, this course will leave you with an understanding of UK biological recording, and able to start/continue contributing valuable records yourself.

At £100 for a residential weekend (£70 for non-residents), this course offers unparalleled value for money. We are able to offer the course at these prices because it is heavily subsidised by the Tom.bio project. Course Brochure

Earthworm Society of Britain Identification Weekend - Snowdonia

Saturday, July 30, 2016 to Sunday, July 31, 2016

This two day earthworm sampling and identification course, hosted by the FSC's Rhyd y creuau Field Centre, is suitable for those with no earthworm experience through to fully trained earthworm recorders. Please note that the sampling day will require a reasonable level of fitness and the collection and preservation of specimens.

Course fees: Non-members: £20 (includes 1 year membership and recorder pack); Members: £15 (includes recorder pack). ESB Trained Earthworm Recorders: No fee (though current membership is required). For more information and to book a place on the course please contact Keiron Brown.

An introduction to grass identification for NPMS

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tom.bio are supporting the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in the delivery of several workshops over the course of 2016. This workshop, lead by Mark Duffell at FSC Margam Park, Port Talbot, is designed for NPMS volunteers and will help volunteers identify this tricky groups of plants.

An introduction to grasses and sedges for NPMS

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tom.bio are supporting the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in the delivery of several workshops over the course of 2016. This workshop, lead by Ben Averis at A294 Pitlochry, Perthshire, is designed for NPMS volunteers and will help volunteers identify this tricky groups of plants.

An introduction to grasses and sedges for NPMS

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tom.bio are supporting the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in the delivery of several workshops over the course of 2016. This workshop, lead by Ben Averis at Linn Dean Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve, Midlothian, is designed for NPMS volunteers and will help volunteers identify this tricky groups of plants.

Solitary bees - Identification and Ecology

Friday, July 15, 2016 to Friday, July 22, 2016

This week-long course will introduce participants to the identification and ecology of solitary bees. Introduction to the identification of genera and species will be through a combination of presentations, field visits and microscope workshops using keys and prepared specimens. The course is taught by Shropshire-based entomologist Ian Cheeseborough.

Tom.bio is subsidising the course fees for this course, therefore we are able to offer the course at a much reduced rate. Sole occupancy £409; Shared occupancy £359; Non-resident £290

An introduction to grass identification for NPMS

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tom.bio are supporting the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in the delivery of several workshops over the course of 2016. This workshop, lead by Mark Duffell at FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Conwy, is designed for NPMS volunteers and will help volunteers identify this tricky groups of plants.

An introduction to grasses and sedges (grasslands and meadows) for NPMS

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tom.bio are supporting the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in the delivery of several workshops over the course of 2016. This workshop, lead by Dominic Price at Farthing Downs Nature Reserve, London, is designed for NPMS volunteers and will help volunteers identify this tricky groups of plants.

A workshop on Pseudoscorpions!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Following on from our very successful Springtail 'peer mentoring workshops' back in January, we are running a similar workshop for Pseudoscorpions - a much under-recorded group of charming invertebrates. In this workshop we aim to bring together, for a day, people who are interested in learning more about these fascinating animals and in sharing what they know with others. We expect to attract a number of people with of mixed experience for a day of peer mentoring.

We have arranged to borrow preserved specimens of a range of British species from Liverpool Museum. We will have access to copies of the very latest draft of a new, as yet unpublished, FSC pseudoscorpion key (fold-out chart format) and we will field test this on various species with the aim of feeding back to the FSC Pulications Unit and the author – Gerald Legg.

You can bring your own specimens and work through their identification by yourself, or with others, and test a range of the identification keys including the new fold-out chart. Alternatively work through some of the specimens from the collections of others and those loaned to us by Liverpool Museum.

For more info, and to book, follow the link in the title.

(Photo credit - Gilles San Martin; Wikimedia Commons)

An Introduction to the NPMS

Thursday, June 9, 2016
Tom.bio are supporting the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in the delivery of several workshops over the course of 2016. This workshop, held at FSC Kindrogan, Perthshire, will guide you through the NPMS survey methodology and plot selection protocol, and allow you to practice a mock survey with the support of the NPMS Volunteer Coordinator.

An introduction to grasses and sedges for NPMS

Thursday, June 9, 2016
Tom.bio are supporting the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in the delivery of several workshops over the course of 2016. This workshop, lead by Phil Wilson at Rackenford and Knowstone Moor reserve in Devon, is designed for NPMS volunteers and will help volunteers identify this tricky groups of plants.

Using QGIS to work with Biological Records

Friday, May 6, 2016

During this course, participants will find out how to visualise and work with biological records using QGIS. In particular, instruction will be given on using the FSC Tom.bio Productivity Tools plugin for QGIS. We will cover topics like mapping biological records from spreadsheets, linking to NBN web services to display NBN grid maps in QGIS, styling biological records, downloading raw biological record data from the NBN through QGIS and mapping them, working with OS grid references and grids within QGIS, ‘mashing up’ maps from other sources to display alongside your own biological records.

Previous experience of QGIS and an understanding of how to carry out basic operations within QGIS are pre-requisites for this course. If you are a complete novice, consider attending our ‘Introduction to the Fundamentals of QGIS’ course first.

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