Rose Toney, Training and Events Officer at the Mammal Society writes:
The Mammal Society is one of the country’s leading providers of specialist training to amateur and professional mammologists and conservationists. We deliver a programme of courses, throughout the year, which caters for a diverse range of interests and requirements…there really is something for everyone!
One of the key elements of our training courses is helping people develop skills in observing and recording mammals. Recording what we see, either through direct observation such as live sightings or roadkill, or through tracks and signs, is important for a whole host of reasons: assisting with the planning and development process; helping to build a baseline of information for conservation and research purposes, and; targeting and monitoring practical action, particularly when funding resources are limited. From a personal perspective, I find that education directly enhances the experience. A walk through the countryside or city, recognising the sights or signs of wildlife, really does make my day.
Training is a vital part of the continuing professional development of those working in the field of ecology or conservation. We offer several courses that are especially suitable for consultants. These courses provide training in protected species, including the Dormouse and Water Vole. They are delivered by highly skilled professionals and are recognised UK-wide for their expert level of training.
For many students trying to gain a foothold in the conservation sector, our training courses can provide a valuable first step. It is widely recognised that it is difficult to get a job without experience, particularly in such a competitive sector. Courses such as the Mammal Identification Weekend, which runs at a number of Field Studies Council sites across the UK, can assist those who wish to leave university with enhanced field skills, in the search for that first elusive job. Additionally, it may help them identify a preferred area of expertise (for example small mammals or protected species), encouraging them to seek volunteer opportunities within that area and further enhancing their employability.
We also offer a range of courses that are open to everyone, from professionals to amateur naturalists to interested individuals. Some of these training opportunities have arisen due to changes in species’ status, such as animals becoming established where they had not previously been recorded, or in the how they interact with the landscape. We have upcoming courses focussing on both Beaver and Wild Boar, two mammals which have recently been very much in the spotlight. We also have a great course for camera trappers of all levels. And for the oestophiles amongst you, we have an excellent workshop coming up in November…
Increasingly, we are being asked about providing bespoke training courses. With our range our expert trainers, covering a diverse range of mammal expertise, and with a geographical spread across the UK, we are well-equipped to accommodate requests for tailored training wherever you are based. From training on protected species, to surveying techniques, to packages for third level education, we are happy to discuss your requirements.
Whatever the incentive for joining one or our many training courses, the experience will undoubtedly enhance your knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the UK’s mammals, as it has for the thousands of attendees we have had the joy and privilege to train over the years. Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what some of our attendees, and one of our trainers, have to say about Mammal Society training courses..
“Course was excellent, David is a very good trainer. From an attendee’s perspective the small number of participants was ideal. Good mixture of theory, practical and common-sense information based on personal experience of the trainer” – attendee, Dormouse Ecology and Conservation, Callow Rock, Somerset May 2019
“Just wanted to say a big thank you to you for providing such an enjoyable and informative course the other week. It really was first class and your obvious deep knowledge of the subject really shone through!” – attendee, Water Vole Ecology, Mitigation and Live-Capture Techniques for Practitioners, Oxfordshire September 2017
“The course went really well yesterday with an excellent group of people who were from different career backgrounds but all very engaged. It’s one of the aspects I love about running the course for the Mammal Society- meeting such a varied bunch of people who are unified in their dedication to wildlife” – Robyn Stewart, trainer for Grassland Water Vole Ecology and Mitigation, Glasgow June 2019
For more information and a full list of courses, see www.mammal.org.uk/training/courses
Rose Toney, Training and Events Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org