In the UK alone there are an estimated 30,000 terrestrial invertebrates. They are vital to the economic health of our country, as they are crucial for soil health, food production, waste decomposition flood mitigation and pollination. Despite both their importance and diversity, many people have a superficial understanding of the morphological features that define different invertebrate groups.

This course is designed to be a gentle introduction to invertebrate identification for those that are have had limited or no experience of viewing them under a microscope. We will use microscopes and identification keys to look at what makes a spider a spider, and how to tell apart the larvae of beetles and flies. Our invertebrate tutor will guide you through a combination of classroom and lab sessions to build up your knowledge, skills and confidence. No microscope or invertebrate identification experience is necessary – this course is designed for absolute beginners!

    • Certificate upon course completion.
    • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.
    • Please note that this course will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.

This course previously titled Looking at Terrestrial Invertebrates with Microscopes.

What will be covered during this course?

  • An overview of the major groups of terrestrial invertebrates in the UK.
  • An introduction to using and understanding identification keys.
  • A beginners guide to setting up and using microscopes to view terrestrial invertebrates.
  • Practical experience of using the FSC AIDGAP Key to the major groups of British terrestrial invertebrates to identify invertebrates to order level using external morphological features.

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

Course Fees

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

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

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.
  • 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 a microscope, identification resources and specimens.

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

Please note that this course 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