There are around 670 spider species in the British Isles and despite being an invertebrate that is commonly found in our homes and gardens, relatively few people know how to identify the different species. Join our tutor in the field to search for, find and discuss the identification features of a variety of UK spider species that can be identified in the field.

Learn about the different groups of spiders and how to tell them apart, including Jumping Spiders (Salticidae), Running Crab Spiders (Philodromidae), Crab Spiders (Thomisidae), Orbweb Spiders (Araneidae), Wolf Spiders (Lycosidae), and Long-jawed Orbweb Spiders (Tetragnathidae), among others. We will be using the Britain’s Spiders: A Field Guide by Bee, Oxford and Smith on the day. Copies will be available to use from our library, but please feel free to bring your own.

This course combines classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities led by a specialist tutor to give learners the skills to be able to identify distinctive species of spider in the field.

  • Certificate upon course completion.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.
  • This course is limited to the identification of distinctive species that can be identified in the field.

This course is aimed at adults only and course attendees must be at least 18 years old in order to attend.

What will be covered during this course?

  • An introduction to spider classification and how their morphology and ecology are interconnected.
  • Identification of distinctive species of spider using a hand lens and field characters.
  • Support from a specialist spider tutor when practicing field identification techniques.
  • Guidance on how to submit spider records.

See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections below for more information about this course.

Course Fees

Regular Price: £75   For professionals and residents outside of the UK.  Select ‘Attendee: In Person’ Sold Out

Subsidised Price: £10   Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students. Available to UK residents only. Select ‘Attendee Subsidised: In Person’

Tutor: Martin Frost

Martin has been interested in spiders for longer than he can remember, but his interest in identifying and recording them really kicked off when attending a course run by a predecessor project to FSC BioLinks. He has led multiple public education events related to spiders and has a wider interest in natural history. He has a number of green-fanged tube-web spiders (Segestria florentina) living in his garden.

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.

Book with Confidence

We understand the difficulties of making plans in the current situation when guidelines continue to change, and insurance conditions are being tightened. In response, we will continue to offer additional flexibility. Find out more here

Example Timetable

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

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • 6 hours of tuition.
  • Certificate of attendance.
  • Access to identification resources.

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 London: Bushy Park

Information on getting to the site can be found here.

When you arrive at The Stockyard gate you may need to call the centre to open the gate. You can reach the staff on site on 020 8941 4398.

Due to the outside nature of part of this course, participants are advised to bring suitable clothing and footwear in order to access the Bushy Park site in various weather conditions.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch
  • Pooter and/or spider pot (if you have one)
  • Hand lens (if you have one)
  • Any spider specimens that you would like verified (tutor availability during the course permitting)

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

This BioLinks course has aspects that will be taught outdoors with walking to field sites over uneven ground. No special preparation is required providing you are used to gentle exercise. If you have any concerns or questions about access or the activities involved, please get in touch.

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