Join like-minded people with an interest in field recording for a day of identifying and surveying in an informal environment. Naturalists of all levels (from beginner to expert) will be able to share their knowledge with peers and help each other improve knowledge and build confidence in biological recording.

Join us at Carding Mill Valley in Shropshire for a day of sampling riverflies. We will be carrying out kick sampling at several locations to collect specimens, some of which will be identifieid in the field with the help of our expert tuotr. We will also be preserving some specimens on the day for identification at subsequent Volunteer ID Days. This event will help us create valuable records for Carding Mill Valley, and any speciemns collected will become part of a teaching collection used to educate and inspire future freshwater invertebrate recorders.

Kick sampling is a standard method used for sampling river invertebrates. It involves disturbing the material on the bed of a river or stream and collecting invertebrates dislodged in the process. A standard kick sample is 3 minutes in duration, with an additional 1 minute of stone-washing. As different invertebrates will be found in different habitats, it is important to sample all habitat types during a sample, for example shallow edges, marginal vegetation, fast-moving riffles. Once a sample has been collected it requires hand sorting to remove any invertebrate specimens for collection and identification.

All records collected will be added to iRecord in order to share our findings with the site managers, Local Environmental Record Centre and relevant national recording schemes and societies.

What will the day involve?

  • Practical experience using a variety of methods to survey riverflies (guidance will be provided)
  • Practical experience in field identification of some species
  • Practical experience in collecting and preserving specimens
  • A chance to meet fellow minded people from a range of different disciplines
  • Access to field equipment with 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.

Please bring your own lunch and any other refreshments you may require!

Please note that this event will involve individuals collecting, preserving and killing invertebrate specimens for identification purposes in order to assist us in generating a site species list.

Tutor: Craig Macadam

Craig Macadam has been studying and recording freshwater invertebrates for over 25 years. His particular specialism is mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, collectively known as 'riverflies'. Craig is the national recorder for mayflies and stoneflies and a founder member of the Riverfly Partnership. He co-authored the Field Studies Council pictorial key to mayflies and the fold out chart for stonefly families.

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 to start promptly at 10:00 am.
  • The Field Recorder Day will end at 4:00 pm.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Practical experience using a variety of methods to survey riverflies (guidance will be provided)
  • Practical experience in field identification of some species
  • Practical experience in collecting and preserving specimens
  • A chance to meet fellow minded people from a range of different disciplines
  • Access to field equipment with support and guidance from one of our expert tutors and 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 the site

Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire

Details of the meeting location and how to get there will be sent to those that have booked ahead of the event.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Suitable clothing for the weather (waterproofs) and suitable footwear (walking boots or wellies)
  • As we will be sampling in-river, wellies are essential for those wanting to take part in sampling throughout the day
  • As we will be sat on the floor outside and it is during a cooler month, we suggest wearing waterproof trousers or bringing a seat pad to sit on
  • Any personal field equipment you have, such as a hand lens (equipment will be provided for those that need it).

Please note that this event will involve individuals collecting, preserving and killing invertebrate specimens for identification purposes in order to assist us in generating a site species list.

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.

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