Wildlife Study Days & Programmes

© S FalkGreen-eyed Flower bee by Steven Falk

Increase your knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of Kent’s wild plants and animals - and learn how to manage habitats to encourage them.

Wildlife Study Days are designed to help the people of Kent to learn more about wildlife of the county. Beginners are very welcome and those with some experience will be able to improve their knowledge and identification techniques.

Leaders are knowledgeable in their own topics but are also pleased to discuss other points of interest as they arise. We aim to create an informal atmosphere in which everyone can progress at their own speed.

Tell me more

Wildlife Study Days are mostly held outside ‘in the field’, often on nature reserves. Most days start at about 10am and continue to around 3 or 4pm. Please remember to check the timings for each study day, as these do vary from course to course.

You will usually be required to bring a packed lunch and refreshments. Most courses also require suitable outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear to be worn.

Each day is usually limited to 15 places, with 6 as the normal minimum to proceed.  We encourage booking online and you will receive further information 10 days prior to the event date.  

Many courses are very popular, so early booking is recommended.

The current listing of Study Days 

Saturday 21st April, 10.30 till 4pm: Get More from Your Birdwatching

How are your bird finding and recognition skills? This course will help you with these, as well as give you advice on the best binoculars, field guides and the other equipment to use whilst pursuing your hobby. Jonathan Barnard
International birdwatching tour leader

Saturday 28th April: Reptile Ecology and Survey Techniques

Discover how to identify reptiles and learn about their habitat requirements. Then search for reptiles in a nearby nature reserve. Mike Phillips, Amphibian Recording Projects Officer

Saturday 5th May: Make a wildflower meadow

Learn how to make a wildflower meadow of any size, including the seed mixes to use, and create a fascinating habitat for wildlife. Neil Coombs, Kent Wildllife Trust Land Management Advisor

Saturday 12th May, 7am till 12 noon: Birds of Woodland in Spring in Tudeley Woods

Fully experience the songs and calls of birds of mixed woodland with this early morning start. Also discover how the woods are managed for wildlife.  Martin Allison, Ecologist

Saturday 12th May, 10.30 till 4.30: An introduction to Minerals

Our world is built from minerals. Come to this Study Day to learn about their occurrence, structure and beauty. Some are mixed together to form rocks whilst many are economically valuable. During the day you will be able to handle and identify mineral specimens. Peter Golding, Geologist 

Sunday 20th May: Introduction to Orchids 

What do you know about wild orchids: their life cycles, how they are pollinated, relationships with fungi, where to find them, and how to identify them? Discover all this and more on this course, which includes field visits to orchid sites in mid Kent. Steve Weeks, Kent Wildlife Trust Warden with David Johnson, Naturalist 

Friday 25th May, 10am till 5pm: An introduction to Ferns

Discover how to recognise ferns of woodlands using leaf shapes and other distinctive features.  Ros Bennett, Botanist

Wednesday 6th June in 2018,10.30 till 3/4pm: Introduction to Wild Flowers for absolute beginners

Learn how to identify and classify flowers using ID books and keys, and put your new skills into practice.  Joyce Pitt, Botanist

Saturday 16th June 2018,10am till 3/4pm: Clovers and vetches

Learn to sort out the many look-alikes in this important family and practise your ID skills in the field. Ros Bennett, Botanist

Saturday 23 June in 2018, 10.30 am till 4pm: Ecology of Bumblebees and their Identification for Beginners

Learn about the ecology of these insects and how to identify the big seven. Includes an update on the Bombus subterraneus reintroduction project. Nikki Gammans, Bumblebee Project Officer and Geoff Allen Entomologist

Sunday 24 June 2018, 10am till 4pm: Grasses

Learn to identify a range of common and uncommon grasses, using keys and specimens and practising your skills in the field. Alex Lockton

Saturday 30th June 2018, 10am till 3/4pm: Kentish Butterflies

Learn more about the butterflies and their habitats and identify some of the common and possibly rarer species of chalk grassland habitat at a mid-Kent reserve. Bryan Bullen, Naturalist