This beginner Natterjack toad course covers the identification and ecology of this protected species, as well as survey techniques. This course is aimed at environmental consultants, land agents, and planners, but anyone with an interest in Natterjack toads is welcome to attend.

This course will cover:

  • Natterjack identification at all life stages 
  • Legal and licensing issues 
  • Natterjack toad ecology 
  • Survey techniques 
  • Conservation and habitat management 

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This beginner course will cover all aspects of Natterjack toad ecology, surveying, and licensing. The course will combine classroom and field learning techniques, allowing you to gain confidence in Natterjack identification and an understanding of licensing issues and ecology. You will visit one of the most successful Natterjack toad sites in South West Scotland to look for Natterjack toads at different life stages. If the weather conditions are favourable, we would hope to see and hear adult males calling around the breeding pools! You will be visiting ponds at night to count amphibians, so a good torch is an essential piece of equipment.

To access your certificate, you will need to log in to our Moodle platform and complete a short quiz within 14 days of attending your course. You will then need to download the certificate from the platform yourself.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Confidently identify Natterjack toads throughout their lifecycle
  • Understand the Natterjack toad ecology, legalities and licensing
  • Describe and identify different survey techniques for Natterjack toads
  • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

Who should attend? – Nature enthusiasts, students, rangers, early career consultants and ecologists.

Knowledge level – Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior knowledge – No existing knowledge or experience is needed for this course, just a willingness to explore and learn.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation, transport, refreshments, or meal facilities provided with this course. If we are unable to reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 4-5 weeks prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Important: you will need your own transport for accessing an evening meal, there will be a three hour break between 5:30pm – 8:30pm, for you to organise your evening meal.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

About the Tutor

Yvette Martin

Yvette Martin is the Amphibian Conservation Officer at Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC). Yvette has worked at ARC for almost 8 years and coordinates the national recovery programme for the Natterjack toad and oversees the reintroduction programme for the pool frog.

Dorothy Driver

Dorothy is one of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation’s (ARC) species team, in her role as Species Coordinator and Great Crested Newt Conservation Officer. Her role includes policy and advocacy work, training, and contributing to the National Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring Programme. Dorothy has worked for ARC (formerly the Herpetological Conservation Trust) since 2004.

Example Timetable


This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect.

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:30am
  • The course will end at 10:30pm

10:30 – 11:30 - Classroom session 1

11:30 – 12:30 - Field session 1 (spawn and possibly tadpoles)

12:30 – 13:30 - Lunch (not provided)

13:30 – 15:00 - Classroom session 2

15:00 – 15:30 - Break (refreshments not provided)

15:30 – 17:30 - Classroom session 3

17:30 – 20:30 - Dinner (you will need your own transport for accessing your evening meal)

20:30 - 22:30 - Field session 2 (adults, calling males, amplexus)

22:30 - End of course

There is no accommodation, transport, refreshments, or meal facilities provided with this course.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you continue to build and develop your knowledge and apply it within the field surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The course includes:

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Natural History Bursaries

There are a number of natural history bursaries available to help with the cost of your course. To find out if you and your chosen course are eligible, read more here.

Before You Attend

What to bring:

  • Wellies
  • Waterproofs
  • Head torch or Clu Light / Torch
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Small bag to carry personal items
  • Notepad and pen to make notes

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical or access requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Opportunities to attend this course

This course is not currently available to book. Dates will follow soon.

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Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, delivered by expert tutors with an approachable learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

If you have any questions about our courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions or email [email protected].

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses. Click here to find out more!

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.