Want to have some time to look at specimens? Need access to some ID resources you don’t have? Need access to a microscope? Or simply looking for an opportunity to brush up on some fundamental entomological skills? This day is for you.

Identifying and recording invertebrates often involves the use of microscopes and identification books and keys, acquiring these can cost a lot of money. Our Invertebrate Volunteer ID Days are opportunities for people to come to our centres to use our lab facilities, microscopes, identification guides and other resources. They are free to attend (though booking is essential).

A range of people come on these days, they are perfect for beginners to practice their ID skills but those more experienced also come along to meet up, work on collections and make use of our resources. They’re a great way to meet other recorders and learn new skills. An FSC BioLinks project staff member will also be on-hand to provide support and guidance (please note: you’ll have access to our tea and coffee making facilities but please bring your own lunch and any other refreshments you may require!).

We encourage volunteers to bring their own specimens to work on. However, if you’re looking for volunteer projects to work on we also need help with the following tasks:

  • Sorting and/or identifying mixed terrestrial and aquatic insect samples from our Field Recorder Day events
  • Carding, pinning and setting specimens that have been identified by other volunteers
  • Helping us produce our terrestrial invertebrate teaching collection
  • Helping us produce our dragonfly and damselfly exuviae reference collection

What do I get?

    • Access to our entomological library
    • Access to a stereomicroscope or compound microscope
    • A chance to meet fellow minded people from a range of different disciplines
    • Practical entomological experience
    • Support and guidance from a member of the FSC BioLinks project team

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.

It’s also worth emailing us at [email protected] if you require a particular resource to ensure we have it beforehand!   

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

Please note that Volunteer ID Days will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.

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

  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Access to our entomological library
  • Access to a stereomicroscope or compound microscope
  • A chance to meet fellow minded people from a range of different disciplines
  • Practical entomological experience
  • Support and guidance from a member of the FSC BioLinks project team

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 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.

Clear