Do you have an interest in identifying and recording ground beetles (Family: Carabidae)? We’re looking for volunteers to help us with our ground beetle specimen collection. Join our expert tutor and take time to look at specimens, access ID resources and gain confidence in your skills.

Volunteers will sort through beetle specimens collected from our Bishops Wood Pitfall Trapping Field Recorder Day and other recording activities. Beetle specimens will be dried, set and pinned or carded before being labelled – with guidance on these processes provided by a member of the BioLinks team. All volunteers will have access to a copy of ‘The Carabidae (ground beetles) of Britain and Ireland’ by Martin L. Luff to identify the ground beetle specimens that they are working on, with guidance and support provided by a coleopterist. This collection will be used on future training courses and to generate new biological records.

Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own beetle specimens (ground beetles and any other beetle specimens) to get their identification checked by our beetle specialist and verified.

An expert beetle tutor will be on hand to verify species determinations, answer volunteer questions and provide identification guidance.

Want to learn how to identify ground beetles? Check out our Ground Beetle ID with Microscopes: Tribes training course at Bishops Wood on Thu 11th November at FSC Bishops Wood (just £10)

What’s included in this event?

    • Support and guidance from a beetle specialist and member of the FSC BioLinks project team.
    • Practical experience of carding, pinning and setting beetle specimens
    • Practical experience of identifying ground beetles (Carabidae) using the ‘The Carabidae (ground beetles) of Britain and Ireland’ by Martin L. Luff
    • Access to our entomological library, microscopes and lab equipment
    • A chance to meet fellow minded people from a range of different disciplines
    • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions

It’s free to join in, however, you must be at least 18 years of age and study space is limited so booking is essential.

You’ll have access to our tea and coffee making facilities but please bring your own lunch and any other refreshments you may require!

Tutor: Caroline Uff

Caroline Uff is the Shropshire Recorder for Coleoptera and since childhood has been fascinated by all types of insects. She has a particular interest in those beetles that can be readily found on vegetation, such as the leaf beetles, longhorns and soldier beetles, but also studies other groups, such as beetles associated with ancient trees. Caroline has worked as an Ecologist for the National Trust for 18 years where she trains teams of staff and volunteers to assess wildlife habitats on National Trust land, from the Worcestershire parklands to Peak District bogs. She is co-author of Wild Mynd: The Birds and Wildlife of Long Mynd, and The Living Edge: A Wanderer's Guide to Wenlock Edge.

Tutor: Rachel Davies

Rachel first became interested in invertebrates whilst working on a dragonfly reintroduction project in Cheshire. This included carrying out larval sampling, exuviae searches and adult transects. She later went on to work with mosquitoes for scientific research at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Rachel currently works for the FSC BioLinks project as the West Midlands Project Officer.

In her spare time, she is an active biological recorder with a fondness for moths.

Covid Measures

In order to keep our customers and staff safe we ask that anyone attending our centres:

  • wears a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).
  • maintains social distancing.
  • cleans their hands regularly.
  • takes a Covid-19 test before they arrive.

Example Timetable

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00 am.
  • Refreshments will be available from 9.45 am.
  • Access will end at 4:00 pm.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Support and guidance from a beetle specialist and member of the FSC BioLinks project team
  • Practical experience of carding, pinning and setting beetle specimens
  • Practical experience of identifying ground beetles (Carabidae) using the 'The Carabidae (ground beetles) of Britain and Ireland' by Martin L. Luff
  • Access to our entomological library, microscopes and lab equipment
  • A chance to meet fellow minded people from a range of different disciplines
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions

Bursaries and Subsidies

FSC BioLinks

FSC BioLinks is an exciting project for FSC in the South East and West Midlands, bringing together existing volunteers with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers.

This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.

Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning there is a lack of data.

We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £1.23 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project.

Before You Attend

Getting to FSC Bishops Wood

FSC Bishops Wood, Crossway Green, Stourport-on-Severn DY13 9SE

  • From Kidderminster: (M5, A38, A449 southbound) On the M5 heading southbound coming off at junction 5, taking the third exit on the roundabout to get onto the A38. at the first roundabout take the third exit onto Kidderminster Road going straight over the next roundabout sticking to Kidderminster Road. At the second left turn to follow Doverdale Lane. Once you have come to a sign turning right onto the A449 take it until you get to the Mitre Oak pub on your left. Take the first exit on the roundabout onto Bishops Wood Lane, finally taking the first left on you will arrive at Bishops Wood Field Centre.
  • From Worcester: (M5, A449 northbound) On the M5 heading northbound, take Junction 6 to Worcester/ Kidderminster taking the second exit heading for the A449 northbound, continuing for 9 miles. At the roundabout with the Mitre Oak pub take the first exit onto Stourport Road. Take the first left onto Bishops Wood Lane, finally taking the first left on you will arrive at Bishops Wood Field Centre.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch
  • Any study materials including ground beetle specimens and relevant literature you may have

Please note that this day will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.

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 requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

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