FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Introduction to Biological Recording at Knepp Castle

  • Location:  HO
  • Tutor:  Charlie Bell, Sue Townsend and Rich Burkmar
  • Dates : Monday 31 July 2017 to Wednesday 02 August 2017
  • Level: Open for Everyone
  • Luxury 'glamping' accommodation (single occupancy): £170
  • Bring your own tent (cost per person): £90

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken. Explore our current programme of courses here

This course represents a unique opportunity to learn about biological recording from three experienced FSC tutors on a residential course within the Knepp Castle Estate, Sussex - home to one of the most innovative and talked-about rewilding projects in the UK!

This course is aimed at the naturalist who wants to become more involved in biological recording. During the course you will be introduced to topics like:

  • making biological records;
  • understanding recording organisations and the recording community;
  • choosing and using identification resources; and
  • submitting your biological records (including instruction on using iRecord);

We will use this knowledge during practical sessions, for example moth trapping, bat detecting and wild flower recording, taking you through the process of biological recording from sampling and identification to submitting records. We will explore the grounds of the Kenpp Castle Estate and learn about the amazing habitats created by the rewilding project from the estate ecologist.

Through a mixture of formal and informal teaching and field sessions this course will leave you with an understanding of UK biological recording, and the ability to contribute valuable records yourself.

No prior knowledge or experience of biological recording is needed - just bring your passion for wildlife and a desire to contribute as a biological recorder!

There are two options for your accommodation: stay in a Shepherd’s Hut, Yurt or Bell Tent (£170 - select 'luxury glamping' option) or you can bring your own tent and camp on the estate’s camping ground (£90 - select 'bring your own tent' option). Full catering is provided with both options.

Included: course tuition; lunch & dinner on Monday 31st July; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Tues 1st Aug; breakfast and lunch on Weds 2nd Aug; accommodation on Mon and Tues night.

Places are strictly limited to 12, so book now!

Enquiries can be addressed to Charlie Bell - [email protected]

Charlie Bell joined the FSC in Feb 2015 to work on the delivery phase of the Tomorrow's Biodiversity project. She joined Tom.bio from Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, where she worked as Living Rivers Officer. Previously Charlie was based at Sheffield University, firstly completing her PhD entitled 'Protected areas, management and the conservation of the red-billed chough on Anglesey', then working as a research assistant on a large multi-disciplinary urban river project. Her interests are chalk stream ecology and management, birds and freshwater issues. She is an accredited Anglers Riverfly Monitoring Initiative trainer. Charlie combines her part time role on the Tom.bio project with working as one half of the national Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) Secretariat, based out of Shropshire Wildlife Trust.

Sue Townsend is the FSC Biodiversity Learning Manager based in Head Office. She has previously been the FSC Science Adviser before working for 20 years as head of Preston Montford in Shropshire – one of the FSCs busy residential field centres. Sue has a keen interest in botany and serves on the Training and Education group of the Botanical Society for Britain and Ireland (BSBI). As a young field tutor in the 80’s based in Cumbria she was a keen freshwater ecologist and has remained passionate about wetland habitats. As a chartered biologist and Fellow of the Linnean Society, Sue has a keen amateur and professional interest in observing and recording wildlife and contributes to a number of national recording schemes. 

Rich Burkmar is an ecologist looking after the FSC's Tomorrow’s Biodiversity project. He has wide-ranging interests in natural history and has been, for almost ten years, a keen recorder of spiders, more recently playing an active role in the life of the Shropshire Spider Group. He is particularly interested in the use of technology by biological recorders and previous roles have included Managing the Local Record Centre in Merseyside & Coordinating the North Merseyside Local Biodiversity Action Plan. He also has many years experience as a programmer and, in particular, as a GIS application developer. He is the author of the FSC Tom.bio Productivity Tools – a QGIS plugin for biological recorders.

Further Information

Full course and venue details

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken.

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