Essex Wildlife Trust is running the following adult courses in June 2017, for more information or to book a place, please ring 01621 862960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Understanding Heathland Management Tuesday 13th June
Abbotts Hall Farm (start place) Tiptree Heath (end)
£20 donation per person
Characteristics, history and development over the centuries of lowland heath habitat, in particular of Essex heaths, will be described. The related wildlife will be summarised. Attention will be paid to succession, positive and negative influences and the resulting need for continual management. A range of management techniques will be covered and reference drawn to schemes and sources of funding. The afternoon will be spent at Tiptree Heath to study evidence of different techniques of management, find evidence of animals which favour the habitat and to carry out a survey to observe a range of typical heath flora. Tiptree Heath is the largest area of lowland heathland remaining in Essex. This 60 acre site is the only place in Essex where you will find all three Heather species growing together, Ling, Cross-leaved and Bell.
Wildlife Gardening 17th June
£30 donation per person
This course will cover basic garden designs and how to maximise the layouts of your garden. We will be looking at features that can be installed in a garden such as miniature stag beetle stumpery, willow obelisks, willow fence, butterfly feeder, bird and bat boxes and much more. We will be looking at different species of plants and materials you can use in your garden to encourage all sorts of wildlife. There will be lots of ideas and tips. It will also include a guided walk around the nature reserve looking at different habitats, trees and wildflowers and maybe an orchid or two.
Marine Survey & ID 23rd June
The Naze Visitor Centre
£35 (includes EWT Handout) donation per person
With the longest coastline and more habitats than any other county in the UK, Essex boasts a spectacular array of marine life. This course will introduce you to just some of the many hundreds of marine species that call Essex home. This one day course is designed to be a classroom based morning session, focusing on species identification, the principles applied to the different types of marine survey techniques and an introduction to some of our sub tidal marine species coupled with a field based afternoon session on a local beach too practice your newly acquired skills. There is also the opportunity to collect an Essex Wildlife Trust introductory ID guide to the world of Marine species identification. This has been specifically written to introduce you to the main species you are likely to find in our estuaries and is available to attendees. Course donation fee includes Essex WT species ID guide. The course is run by Sarah Allison, Living Seas co-ordinator for the Essex Wildlife Trust. Sarah has worked on conservation and marine projects for the past 7 years. She is now a leading expert in shellfish restoration and Native Oysters.
Glow-worms-Ecology Management & Surveying 23rd June
£15 donation per person
Glow-worms are one of the most intriguing beetles, with their green glow a magical feature of summer evenings throughout the UK. Come and learn about the lifecycle and ecology of Glow-worms and find out how to actively manage habitats to increase their numbers. The course will focus on identifying larval and adult (glowing females) stages at Chafford Gorges Nature Park, which has one of the largest remaining Glow-worm populations in Essex. A short classroom session will be followed by evening searches for larvae and glowing females on the reserve, which will form part of the ongoing Essex Glow-worm Survey. The course will be an excellent chance to see Glow-worms in the wild and find out what you can do to help conserve them and monitor their numbers. Signed copies of the Essex Glow-worm book will be available.
An Introduction to the study of bumblebees Saturday 24th June
£30 donation per person
Bumblebees are an appealing, small group of insects that often attract those not otherwise drawn to the study of insects. Species diversity can be used as an indicator of habitat quality and several species are of conservation concern nationally. The course will discuss the range of bumblebees found in Essex and the UK, the books available to aid identification and other learning, methods of observation and preliminary skills in putting a name to specimens. The ecological requirements of the Essex species will also be discussed. The day will be spent in the Abberton VC reserve, looking for bumblebees to name and discuss their behaviour and ecology. In case of bad weather, this will be backed-up with pinned specimens provided by the tutor.
Butterfly ID & Recording Wednesday 28th June 10-4 pm
Abbotts Hall Farm
£30 donation per person
This course is aimed at people who are interested in volunteering to take part in butterfly monitoring in Essex as part of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. The course will cover butterfly ecology, identification of common UK species and butterfly surveying using the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme methodology. The course will also include an opportunity to undertake a butterfly transect around Abbotts Hall, weather permitting. This course is run by Lorna Shaw MCIEEM, Biological Records Officer at Essex Wildlife Trust. Lorna also runs the Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records centre.