Training opportunities for Ecology Groups

It is anticipated that over time training opportunities for Ecology Group members will expand and grow, and will derive from a combination of the following sources:

  • Wildlife study days
  • In house/staff led training – sharing existing knowledge and expertise within the trust.
  • Volunteer tutors
  • Self-led learning
  • Peer-to-peer teaching within staff and Ecology Groups
  • Fieldwork

Wildlife Study Days

We are developing our wildlife study day programme and introducing new courses where appropriate to support the development and training of Ecology Groups volunteers. The cost of study days is reduced for registered volunteers, and we have aspirations to be able to offer FREE wildlife study days to registered Ecology Groups volunteers who contribute to our monitoring programmes.

For full details of the programme see our study days page.

New courses for 2016

Reptile ecology and survey techniques - FREE training course for volunteers

Date: TBA following expressions of interest. Venue: may be either Meday or Darent Living Landscape area. Training offered: A course designed to support an Ecology group project - reptiles are both species of conservation priority, and indicators of landscape connectivity. A training course in reptile monitoring and data recording is offered by Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group (KRAG) in March/April at Tyland Barn, to volunteers interested in supporting this Ecology Groups survey. There will be no charge for this course which will take up an afternoon. It will involve a class room presentation followed by practical exercises in a local wildlife reserve. Ecology Groups Survey Details: Surveyors visit wildlife reserves on a regular basis and follow standard walks around the reserves. The walks will take them past artificial refuges located in sunny spots where reptiles will gather. Surveyors will note the presence of reptiles, and their condition e.g. gender, reproductive status etc., both at refuges and elsewhere on site. They will be encouraged to take photos of the animals and make notes of any important local issues. Time and duration of commitment: The reptile survey season is from March to October, depending on weather conditions. Surveyors would be expected to visit reserves ideally one a month, preferably two or three times. Most surveys can be completed in about 1 hour.

**Ground beetle identification and ecology for beginners’ Wildlife Study Day now fully booked - due to popular demand a further date is planned later in the year, watch this space!**

Ground beetle ID and ecology for beginners (Saturday 16th April). A new KWT Wildlife Study Day ‘Ground beetle ID and ecology for beginners’ designed to support Kent Wildlife Trust’s strategic monitoring objectives. The course will be followed by approx. 8 field sessions in April/May and Aug/Sep sampling ground beetles and, with follow up ‘lab’ sessions with hand lenses and microscopes attempting to ID them (dates to be arranged by mutual agreement with participants). Even if you don’t come on the study day you can help out with setting traps and sampling beetles, and come along to ID sessions. NB If you are interested in this study day please see our study days page or email for further details. Leader: Paul Tinsley-Marshall.

COURSE NOW FULLY BOOKED – a possible further date may be added later this year.

Breeding bird survey methods, songs and calls for beginners (Saturday 11th June) This course is intended for people with some identification skills who have limited experience of surveys and want to widen their knowledge. The course is suitable those wishing to develop the skills to allow them to conduct breeding bird surveys - some level of skill in identifying birds by sight is assumed, the course will not cover the visual identification of birds. It is hoped that participants will go on to volunteer to conduct bird surveys with KWT ‘Ecology Groups’. NB If you are interested in this study day please see our study days page or email for further details. Leader: Paul Tinsley-Marshall.

Looking ahead to future plans, I very much hope that we will soon be able to offer a Wildlife Study Day focusing on hoverflies, to support future Ecology Groups projects.