Training

Courses for Ecologists

Paul has worked as a Training Consultant and has 30 years training experience. He is certified by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. We offer a range of training courses for the professional ecologist. These will give you a range of essential skills needed in ecological consultancy and nature conservation agencies:

The  Train the Trainer for Ecologists  course is a Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Masterclass.

Grasses for Phase One Habitat Survey

An intensive ‘kick-start’ course for the complete novice covering the key ‘must know’ species, including distinguishing improved, semi- & unimproved grasslands. We concentrate on the top 10 grass indicator species  relevant to Phase 1. Includes a new comprehensive vegetative grass key, devised specifically for beginners.  Much of the course focuses on vegetative grass identification - the easiest way to start with grasses!

Dates: TBC
Location: TBC

Habitat Survey and Mapping

This is an introductory course aimed at early career ecologists. You will gain an insight into the range of habitat survey techniques available including Phase One Habitat Survey as well as the UK Habitat Classification survey. You will learn how to effectively plan and carry out a survey and map habitats. There will be plenty of practice in surveying a range of habitats with support from the trainer. The course is for beginners and no habitat survey experience is necessary. Help will be given with species identification throughout the event.

Dates: TBC
Location: TBC

Introduction to Phase 1 Habitat Survey

This course will enable you to conduct a Phase 1 Habitat Survey. We focus on survey methodology, rather than plant identification. Day one covers survey planning, mapping techniques and identifying habitats. We particularly discuss two tricky issues: how to distinguish marsh, fens and marshy grasslands, and: how to distinguish improved, semi-improved and unimproved grasslands. Field work includes a range of habitat types. On day two you will conduct your own survey of a site not previously visited and discuss best practice in reporting.

Dates: TBC
Location: TBC

Introduction to the UK Habitat Classification

The UK Habitat Classification is set to replace the Phase One Habitat Survey method as the standard survey method used as part of Preliminary Ecological Appraisals. It is therefore expected that the majority of ecological consultancies will adopt the UKHAB in the near future.

We consider the uses of the UK Habitat Classification survey and best practice. We focus on survey methodology, rather than plant identification. The course covers survey planning, mapping techniques and identifying habitats. Field work includes a range of habitat types. During the field exercise you will learn to use the UK Habitat Classification Field Key and how to map habitats using the protocols developed for UKHab. The course is for beginners and no habitat survey experience is necessary although basic knowledge of survey methods as well as some plant identification skills will be an advantage.

Dates: TBC
Location: TBC

UK Habitat Classification for Practitioners

This one day course is mostly designed for those who use Phase I and/or NVC to map habitats so that they can convert to using UKHab easily. Issues that need to be resolved from their experiences of existing methodologies will be discussed. UKHab will be introduced by the trainer through interactive presentations, showing the hierarchy and secondary codes that can provide much more information in a GIS than previous classifications. The Field Key to UK habitats devised to be used with UKHab and/or EUNIS will be described and trainees will get the opportunity to use it in a field exercise. During the field exercise trainees will learn how to map polygon, linear and point features using the protocols developed for UKHab.

Dates: TBC
Location: TBC

Introduction to Habitat Condition Assessment

The course will introduce you to habitat condition assessment methods with a focus on condition assessment for the Biodiversity Metric 2.0. We will cover a wide range of habitats with practice in the field together with classroom exercises. Field exercises will include at least three grassland broad habitat types, woodland, scrub, hedgerows as well as a wetland. The course is for beginners and no habitat survey experience is necessary although basic knowledge of survey methods as well as some plant identification skills will be an advantage.

Dates: TBC
Location: TBC

QGIS for Ecologists and Conservation Practitioners

This course introduces you to the open source (free) QGIS software which is now an industry standard in the  ecological, conservation and consultancy sectors. It is suitable for complete beginners to GIS. The course is  designed to enable you to become a competent GIS operator with a practical focus on producing Phase One  survey maps and analysing data derived from your surveys. We will cover basics including the QGIS interface,  sourcing existing data and creating background maps using this data. You will then be able to create new  species records and habitat maps, classify data, undertake basic analysis and prepare maps for inclusion in  reports.

Dates: 30 September - 1 October 2020
Location: Kingston Upon Thames
To book: Visit the CIEEM Website

Intermediate QGIS for Ecologists and Environmental Practitioners

This intermediate level event focuses on using QGIS as a tool for data analysis and producing more complex maps accurately and efficiently. The course offers ideal progression from our entry level QGIS training.

Sessions will explore how to quickly and efficiently digitise complex maps and how to correct digitising errors using a range of QGIS tools and plugins. Users will be learn how to georeference scanned maps so they can use their own maps to create backdrops for their QGIS project and how to download and use Open Street Map data.

Much of the event focuses on using QGIS as a tool for data analysis including querying data to create subsets of features from layers and analysing spatial relationships between features. For example we show how buffering and nearest neighbour analysis can be used to establish how far a bat roost is from key features in the landscape.

The event is suitable for anyone who is proficient at basic map production (e.g. habitat maps) and wishes to use QGIS for more advanced tasks such as producing complex maps and for analysing environmental data. The training consolidates and builds on many of the topics introduced in our entry level QGIS training. Ideally delegates will have attended an introductory course and should be familiar with all basic functions including loading vector and raster data, basic symbology including categorizing data, basic point, line and polygon digitizing and using the Print Composer to create maps.

Dates: 7 -8  October 2020
Location: Kingston Upon Thames
To book: visit the CIEEM website

QField for Ecologists and Environmental Practitioners

This event introduces surveyors to QField, an open source mobile GIS mapper which works alongside the QGIS GIS program. The application allows for efficient electronic data capture in the field and can be used for habitat mapping as well as capturing species information. We cover the key advantages of capturing habitat and species data electronically as well as considering equipment options. We include setting up projects in QGIS for transfer to QFIELD,  transferring projects to a mobile device for use in the field. We then look at Qfield functionality on a mobile device (android 'phone or tablet), firstly in the classroom and then in the field. Field work will include capturing point, line and polygon data as well as editing data in the field. Finally we will cover the transfer of field data back into a QGIS project in the classroom.

The event is suitable for anyone who is proficient at basic map production (e.g. habitat maps) in QGIS and wishes to use QFIELD for capturing data electronically in the field.

Dates: 15 October 2020
Location: Kingston Upon Thames
To book: visit the CIEEM website

Train the Trainer for Ecologists

This two day CIEEM Masterclass is specially designed for ecologists and environmental professionals and covers field as well as classroom tuition. The course is for anyone who wants to enhance their teaching and training skills. It includes designing sessions to cater for differences in the way people learn, tips on maximising information retention, and how to design learner-centred group activities. Participants will also develop a session for use on their own course.

Dates: TBC
Location: TBC

Flying high - Drones for Ecology and Land Management

The course will consider the uses and potential uses of drones for ecological and land management work in the UK.

This one day training course, will include an overview of the latest drones, their features and capabilities. The regulations including commercial operation will be covered together with safety considerations. The main focus of the event will be the use of drones to produce high resolution orthomosaic images to produce accurate habitat maps. However, other uses, including tree and roof inspection for bats, will also be covered.

The event is suitable for complete beginners wishing to gain an understanding of how drones can enhance their work as an ecologist as well as experienced drone pilots to exploit drone technology to the fullest in their work.

The training will be a mixture of classroom based discussion and practical demonstration. By the end of the event delegates will have a full appreciation of how this technology can be used to improve the quality of data gathering and hence the standard of ecological reports.

Dates: TBC
Location: TBC

"An excellent course. I found it very informative and inspiring. I am keen to put some of Paul's ideas into action. I also got some good ideas from fellow delegates" Stuart Colgate, Train the Trainer November 2015

"Set at a very good level for beginners. Paul = very clear, patient and helpful. I will definately be recommending this course to others" Lucy Monday, QGIS October 2016

  "For me this was a great overview of protected species law and policy from a beginners perspective" Rosalind Bown, Introduction to Protected Species Law and Policy October 2016