A course designed to help students develop higher level skills in the interpretation of invertebrate survey data.

The role of sampling protocols will be explored through fieldwork, and a team approach will be taken to gather a set of accurate species records for analysis and interpretation. A variety of approaches to site and habitat assessment will be explored, to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of each technique. The relevance of population size, indicator species, habitat fidelity and species assemblages in assessing an invertebrate fauna will be discussed.


This is one of a series of courses (Units) run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University contributing to the MSc Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring and the Postgraduate Certificate in Biological Recording. To gain university credits you must be registered for the programme in advance of this course. For further details please contact:

Department of Natural Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, (Shrewsbury Office). E-mail: [email protected]

The Unit will be assessed through, for example, identification tests, survey reports, field journals, production of keys, essays or other forms of assessment.

If you are aged 18-25, you are eligible for a £50 discount thanks to the Generation Green project, click here to find out more.

Tutor: Peter Boardman

Pete Boardman has been involved in entomology professionally for a couple of decades and is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. He co-runs the UK Cranefly Recording Scheme, the oldest UK fly recording scheme. He currently works for Natural England but previously ran biological recording and entomological projects for the Field Studies Council. He has taught entomology and led workshops for a range of organisations over the last twenty years. He once saw a slug eating a chip.

Please note, the fee is for tuition, packed lunch and refreshments only.

If you would like to book accommodation and an evening meal at FSC Preston Montford, please email [email protected]

Example Timetable

Please arrive at the Centre between 15:00pm and 17:00pm on the first day of your course in good time for a welcome introduction and evening meal usually 18.30pm, after which the course commences with a short evening session.

Introductions, Site surveys for invertebrates, Assignment details.

Field work, invertebrate assemblages in detail. An introduction to Pantheon.

Field work, laboratory workshop – specimen identification. Pantheon using existing data sets. Data upload to iRecord.

Field work, Laboratory workshop / Pantheon workshop. Report writing.

Accrediting Agency

Manchester Metropolitan University

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Lunch

Bursaries and Subsidies

If you are aged 18-25, you are eligible for a £50 discount thanks to the Generation Green project, click here to find out more.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • A hand lens, preferably x10 and/or x20.
  • Warm waterproof clothing and footwear.
  • A field notebook and pencil.
  • Your own laptop (if available, if not please contact the Centre) – Essential!
  • A copy (electronic or hard copy) of the core text by Drake et al. (see Background Reading section)
  • A sandwich box, flask and/or water bottle and a bag to carry your kit.
  • Collecting equipment, specimen preparation materials and some taxonomic identification literature will be available to borrow but you may wish to bring your own if you already own them.

Recommended Reading
The following resources are recommended. The first can be downloaded from Natural England’s website and is the core text for the course. You should bring your own copy to the course if at all possible.

  •  Drake, C.M., Lott, D.A, Alexander, K.N.A. and Webb, J.R. (2007) Surveying terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates for conservation evaluation. Natural England Research Report NERR005. Sheffield: Natural England.
  • Hill, D., Fasham, M., Tucker, G., Shewry, M. and Shaw, P. (eds.) (2005) Handbook of biodiversity methods. Survey, evaluation and monitoring. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Webb, J.R. and Lott, D.A. (2006). The development of ISIS: a habitat-based assemblage classification system for assessing conservation interest in England. Journal of Insect Conservation, 10, 79-188.