Upcoming events

Open lab/invertebrate collections day

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

An informal day for the Shropshire Invetebrate Group (and friends) to work on their invertebrate ID skills, and/or catalogue and maintain the Preston Montford invertebrate collections. A classroom and microscopes will be available, with support (although no formal teaching) from FSC Biodiversity staff.

All are welcome anytime between 10am and 4pm. Please email Charlie Bell if you think you might come along.

Darwin's Garden Earthworm Weekend

Saturday, October 21, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017
FULLY BOOKED

This two day non-residential event is a great way to get into earthworm recording. If you have some experience of recording earthworms, this event is an ideal opportunity to hone your skills and spend time with like-minded people finding out more about Shropshire's earthworms.

Charles Darwin, who grew up in Shrewsbury, was fascinated by earthworms. 'The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits', (also known, more snappily, as 'Worms' or 'Earthworms') was this final publication. Despite being his last book, it outsold all his others during his lifetime! As a child, Darwin lived at the family home, The Mount, in Shrewsbury and The Shropshire Wildlife Trust (SWT) recently purchased part of its garden as a reserve.

On the Saturday, with the permission of SWT, we will be sampling earthworms in Darwin's garden and afterwards in the grounds of Preston Montford Field Centre. Whilst in Darwin's Garden, we will be given an introduction to the new reserve from a local Darwin expert! On Sunday we will be identifying the earthworms we collected under the microscope in the classroom at Preston Montford. Attendees are more than welcome to bring along other earthworms for identification, e.g. those collected from their own gardens.

There is a flat fee of £10 to cover the entire two days. Participants are welcome to attend either one or both days. If you are new to earthworm identification, you will get the most out of the weekend by attending both days.

Please note:

  • the course involves the collection and preservation of earthworms for identification, and
  • the course fee does not include accommodation or food - please bring a packed lunch on both days.

A Holisitc and Practical Introduction to QGIS

Friday, October 27, 2017 to Sunday, October 29, 2017

QGIS is a freely available open-source Geographic Information System (GIS) that matches the functionality and usability of commercial products like MapInfo and ArcGIS. It has been adopted by governments, businesses and NGOs around the world. 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.

Matt Davies is a professional ecologist and geographer with 20 years’ experience in the UK environment sector. He began his career at JNCC, providing GIS and database support on marine and coastal projects. He then worked at the capital’s Environmental Record Centre, GiGL, where he managed a multi-disciplinary team that supported volunteer, community and wildlife recording groups and integrated their data into government decision making and the operational delivery of transport companies and emergency services. 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.

Shropshire springtail 'square bashing' weekend

Saturday, November 11, 2017 to Sunday, November 12, 2017
Missing quadrants in Shropshire

Come and help 'turn Shropshire pink'! Our Springtail Atlas project has been running for nearly two years and has been hugely successful - and nationally unique. However, we would love to have springtail records from every quadrant (5km square) in Shropshire before Ento Day on 10th December.

Both Saturday and Sunday will follow the same format - we will meet at 9am at FSC Preston Montford, then travel in the minibus to various unrecorded 5km squares which we will sample for springtails. We will return to the field centre for lunch (a simple sandwich lunch will be provided) and then spend the afternoon sorting the samples and identifying the springtails. The lab work will cater for all abilities - choose whetehr to help sort the sprigntails from the non-springtails, identify the springtails to family level using a low power microscope, or have a go at species level identification using a high powered microscope. No formal ID training will be given but microscopes, keys and support will be on hand to help you out! The day will end at 5pm.

You are welcome to attend one or both days. There is no charge but booking is essential as we need to know numbers for lunch.  Please email Charlie Bell  if you'd like to come along.

Centipedes and Millipedes

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
NEW!

Preston Montford, Shropshire

In this introduction to the identification of UK centipedes & millipedes you will learn the techniques of identification for the frequently met, but usually ignored creatures. Learn about their fascinating ecology and diversity here in the UK.

This course is offered at a reduced rate of £30 thanks to support from the FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity project.

Open lab/invertebrate collections day

Thursday, November 30, 2017

An informal day for the Shropshire Invetebrate Group (and friends) to work on their invertebrate ID skills, and/or catalogue and maintain the Preston Montford invertebrate collections. A classroom and microscopes will be available, with support (although no formal teaching) from FSC Biodiversity staff.

All are welcome anytime between 10am and 4pm. Please email Charlie Bell if you think you might come along.