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.

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

The current listing of Study Days 

Saturday 17th March 2 till 8pm: Amphibian Ecology and Survey Techniques

Understand the importance of habitats to the different amphibians found at Bough Beech. Recognise the key species and be part of a torchlight survey of some ponds. Mandy Apps, Ecologist and KRAG Member

Friday 23rd March, 8am till 1pm: Learning Bird Song

Have you ever wondered why birds sing? Most species have unique songs. This day will help you identify or recognise birds by sound. Discover the purpose behind their distinctive songs and calls. Tony Swandale, Ornithologist

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. 

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 

Saturday 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