There are six native species of reptiles in the UK. This course will aid you in identifying reptile species and making site adjustments; a critical skill for anyone looking at working within a consultancy career.

This introductory course is a great start for anyone with an interest in reptiles and for those looking at taking their first steps into an ecology career. You will learn how to identify our native reptiles, and about their ecology. This course will introduce you to the key characteristics of reptiles and will then look more in-depth into UK species. By the end of the course, you will be able to identify common UK species as well as non-natives, explain their basic ecology and also have a basic understanding of key mitigations needed when working in an area of interest for reptiles.

Your course will take place within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to field sites in Dartmoor National Park and urban centres in Plymouth and Torbay.
PLEASE NOTE the course fee is for tuition only. There is no accommodation provided with this course. If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at FSC Slapton Ley, please email [email protected]

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached

The course is for anyone interested in reptiles and is looking to improve their ability to find, identify and understand the ecology of British reptiles.

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Early career ecologists, Citizen scientists, Volunteer surveyors

Knowledge Level

Introductory. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge

No existing knowledge or experience is needed for this course. Just a willingness to explore and learn.

This course will cover:

    • Introduction to Reptiles
    • UK Reptile Identification
    • UK Reptile Ecology

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

    • Explain Reptile taxonomy, anatomy, and main ID features and how they differ from other animals
    • Identify UK Reptile species
    • Describe the different habitats, ranges and life cycles of UK reptiles
    • Identify reasonable adjustments that need to be taken to protect reptiles
    • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

This is a place-based training course from the FSC, including a balance of classroom-led learning to impart important knowledge and irreplaceable hands-on outdoor learning opportunities to give individuals skills and confidence. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning within reptiles with further relevant FSC courses or branch out into other areas of the animal kingdom. The FSC 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 fantastic tutor will combine the use of classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities to give individuals the skills and confidence to learn more about reptiles.

    • See the ‘Example Timetable’ and ‘What’s Included’ sections below for more information about this course.
    • Upon booking you will need to provide individual details of all attendees
    • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

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.

    • Discounted rates
    • Privately run courses for your group
    • Bespoke courses developed specifically for your needs

Click here to find out more!

About our partner, ARC

The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC) was established in June 2009. ARC was created around the core of the Herpetological Conservation Trust (HCT), in response to the wider needs of herpetofauna conservation, providing the UK focus for all aspects of reptile and amphibian conservation. ARC continues to focus on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, creating an extensive network of nature reserves, coordinating monitoring programmes and volunteer networks and developing an effective role in advocacy both within the UK and Europe.

Tutor: Dr Rob Ward

Dr Rob Ward is a conservation biologist who has been working with amphibians and reptiles for 15 years and completed his PhD on the ecology and conservation of grass snakes. He is currently the Data and GIS Officer for the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC) where his work includes developing reptile and amphibian monitoring programmes and managing the organisation’s data and mapping.  

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

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 10:00am
    • The course will end at 5:00pm
10:00amIntroductions
10:30amClassroom session covering:

  • Introduction to reptile taxonomy, anatomy and main ID features
11:30amBreak and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided 
11:45amField Session
1:00pmLunch – Not included
2:00pmClassroom session covering:

  • British reptile ID and ecology
3:00pmBreak and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided 
3:15pmField Session to apply classroom knowledge
4:30pmClassroom plenary and final questions
5:00pmFinish

Please note accommodation, refreshments and an evening meal are not included

Accrediting Agency

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC)

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 FSC 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 an FSC course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Before You Attend

What to Bring:

    • Notebook and pencil
    • Camera to capture images
    • Lunch and refreshments
    • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors

You may wish to purchase the FSC Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians to enhance your experience

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.

Sorry this course has ended