Previous events

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.

An Introduction to the Fundamentals of QGIS

Thursday, May 5, 2016

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.

Field Identification of Spiders & Harvestmen

Wednesday, May 4, 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.

Soil Mesofauna: ecology and identification

Thursday, April 14, 2016 to Sunday, April 17, 2016
This four-day course will give you an overview of soil ecology, provide you with skills and experience in identifying soil organisms to various taxonomic levels, and provide you with the information you need to collect, examine, identify and record soil organisms. In particular the course concentrates on Springtails (Collembola) and Soil Mites (Acari), but the entire soil fauna is introduced and attendees have some latitude to pursue what interests them most.

Shropshire Earthworm ID weekend

Saturday, April 9, 2016 to Sunday, April 10, 2016
This weekend comprises an earthworm sampling day at Shropshire Wildlife Trust's Pontesford and Earl's Hill reserves on the Saturday, followed by a classroom-based workshop on the Sunday at Preston Montford. Over the course of the Sunday workshop will identify earthworms collected the previous day. You don't have to attend the Saturday field session in order to book onto the workshop. And you don't have to book onto the workshop to attend the Saturday field session! There is a £5 booking fee for the Sunday workshop. If you wish to attend the field day (for which there is no booking fee), just send us an email (admin@tombio.uk) to say you are coming.

Learn to Love Spiders

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
If you’re interested in spiders but never felt ready for a beginner’s ID workshop, then this day is for you! It’s a day for people who are fascinated by spiders but don’t know where to start with them. It’s a very gentle introduction to the world of spiders and the art of telling one spider from another. We will be looking at live specimens of different types of British spiders in the classroom, learning some of their names and how to tell some of them apart. There will be some fascinating talks by local spider experts and you can find out what to do if you want to take your interest further. At only £10 for the day, this is a heavily subsidised event, but places are limited, so book soon.

Dissection techniques for moth ID verification - 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016 to Sunday, April 3, 2016
We are working with Dave Grundy to provide a couple of two-day residential courses in dissection techniques for moth identification for verification of critical species. There is a demand for these kinds of 'high-level' skills but fewer and fewer people with them. Tom.bio is subsidising these courses by reducing fees to participants. This two-day residential technical course is available and a bargain-price of £90 including residential fees and £60 non-residential. You will not find a better value residential course than that! Places are limited to six per course, so book quickly!

QGIS: a 4 day course for ecologists & biological recorders

Friday, February 19, 2016 to Monday, February 22, 2016
An increasing number of ecologists and biological recorders are using QGIS software to help them visualise, explore and analyse their spatial data. During this course, participants will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of GIS and using QGIS as a tool to explore biological records and ecological data.

Introduction to Biological Recording

Saturday, January 23, 2016 to Sunday, January 24, 2016

This new 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 £65 for a residential two-day course (£40 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.

Springtail Identification Workshop - Day 1 and Day 2

Saturday, January 16, 2016 to Sunday, January 17, 2016
This two-day workshop has an emphasis on peer-supported identification work, with people sharing their own ideas, information and expertise, as well as their ID problems! Experienced springtail recorders will be on hand to offer support and help. There will also be a few structured elements, e.g. accounts of ideas for new Springtail local atlas projects and a presentation on identifying live springtails in the field. Although not designed for complete springtail novices, if you are a beginner we may be able to make provision for you to attend. Please email to discuss this before booking. The two days are essentially separate events and each must be booked separately. Attendees are welcome to come to either one or the other, or both.

Shropshire Ento Day 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015
Join local entomologists for a fantastic day of talks about all things invertebrate! Topics include dragonflies, springtails, earthworms, moth trapping, biological control using invertebrates, data visualisation and much more! There will also be a chance to browse various invertebrate ID guides and keys.

Dissection techniques for moth ID verification

Saturday, November 28, 2015 to Sunday, November 29, 2015
We are working with Dave Grundy to provide a couple of two-day residential courses in dissection techniques for moth identification for verification of critical species. There is a demand for these kinds of 'high-level' skills but fewer and fewer people with them. Tom.bio is subsidising these courses by reducing fees to participants. This two-day residential technical course is available and a bargain-price of £90 including residential fees and £60 non-residential. You will not find a better value residential course than that! Places are limited to six per course, so book quickly!

Soil Mesofauna Refresher Day

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Join Matthew Shepherd, Natural England Soil Scientist, at Yarner's Wood Nature Reserve in Devon for a day of identifying springtails and mites and re-honing your ID skills. There will be some new resources on offer (a new mite key), and experts to share ID tricks and tips. Microscopes and samples will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own samples or even collect some from the reserve. Although this is primarily a refresher day new faces are also welcome, for whom this should serve as an introductory session

Sphagnum Microscopy Workshop

Saturday, November 14, 2015
We are working with the British Bryological Society to deliver a one-day workshop is aimed at the improver who would like to move beyond field identification to use the additional identification features available using a microscope.

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