Upcoming events

SSG Pantheon Workshop

Sunday, October 1, 2017
Centre of Ecology and Hydrology

Location: Preston Montford Field Centre
Start time: 10 am
End time: 4 pm (latest)

The Shropshire Spider Group has arranged, in partnership with FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity, a one-day workshop on the online Pantheon tool. Pantheon (www.brc.ac.uk/pantheon) is an analytical tool developed by Natural England and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) to assist invertebrate nature conservation in England. Users import lists of invertebrates into Pantheon, which then analyses the species, attaching associated habitats and resources, conservation status and other codings against them.

Pantheon logoThis workshop will demonstrate how you can use Pantheon to ‘add value’ to your species lists. It will provide some background on how Pantheon was developed, and outline the various types of information it contains, along with the caveats that you need to bear in mind when using it. We will also look at some options for presenting the results that Pantheon gives you.

We will work through some prepared examples, and please also bring some of your own species data so that you can try the system out for sites that you know. All that you need is a list of species from a site (this can be from a single sample on a single date, or from multiple samples combined).

Pantheon is a web-based system and to use it you will need a computer that is connected to the internet. Please bring your own laptop if you can, or us know if you wish to borrow a laptop when you book. (In principle it is possible to access Pantheon via a tablet browser, but it contains some quite large and complex data tables that do not display well on tablet-sized screens, and the site really needs a computer if you are to make best use of it.)

Martin Harvey will be leading this workshop. He is an entomologist and biological recorder. He works part-time at the Biological Records Centre at CEH Wallingford. In 2016 he coordinated a review of Pantheon for Natural England, working with other entomologists to steer its development, and he is a member of the Pantheon steering group. He also uses Pantheon to help analyse data from his own entomological surveys.

The workshop is free to friends of the Shropshire Spider Group, but you must book a place by emailing Nigel Cane-Honeysett: Shropshire.spiders@gmail.com

If you wish to borrow a laptop for the workshop, please let Nigel know when you book he will ask Rich Burkmar to organise the loan of an FSC laptop for the day.

Open lab/invertebrate collections day

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

An informal day for the Shropshire Invetebrate Group (and friends) to work on their invertebrate ID skills, and/or catalogue and maintain the Preston Montford invertebrate collections. A classroom and microscopes will be available, with support (although no formal teaching) from FSC Biodiversity staff.

All are welcome anytime between 10am and 4pm. Please email Charlie Bell if you think you might come along.

Darwin's Garden Earthworm Weekend

Saturday, October 21, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017

This two day non-residential event is a great way to get into earthworm recording. If you have some experience of recording earthworms, this event is an ideal opportunity to hone your skills and spend time with like-minded people finding out more about Shropshire's earthworms.

Charles Darwin, who grew up in Shrewsbury, was fascinated by earthworms. 'The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits', (also known, more snappily, as 'Worms' or 'Earthworms') was this final publication. Despite being his last book, it outsold all his others during his lifetime! As a child, Darwin lived at the family home, The Mount, in Shrewsbury and The Shropshire Wildlife Trust (SWT) recently purchased part of its garden as a reserve.

On the Saturday, with the permission of SWT, we will be sampling earthworms in Darwin's garden and afterwards in the grounds of Preston Montford Field Centre. Whilst in Darwin's Garden, we will be given an introduction to the new reserve from a local Darwin expert! On Sunday we will be identifying the earthworms we collected under the microscope in the classroom at Preston Montford. Attendees are more than welcome to bring along other earthworms for identification, e.g. those collected from their own gardens.

There is a flat fee of £10 to cover the entire two days. Participants are welcome to attend either one or both days. If you are new to earthworm identification, you will get the most out of the weekend by attending both days.

Please note:

  • the course involves the collection and preservation of earthworms for identification, and
  • the course fee does not include accommodation or food - please bring a packed lunch on both days.

A Holisitc and Practical Introduction to QGIS

Friday, October 27, 2017 to Sunday, October 29, 2017

QGIS is a freely available open-source Geographic Information System (GIS) that matches the functionality and usability of commercial products like MapInfo and ArcGIS. It has been adopted by governments, businesses and NGOs around the world. The course is suitable for beginners to GIS, those looking to refresh their skills or those looking to migrate to QGIS software. It will help ecological consultants, wildlife organisations, biological recorders and recent graduates to visualise, explore and analyse spatial data. The course will take a holistic approach to ensure participants have the skills needed to confidently implement GIS projects in the workplace. General topics will include GIS fundamentals, data licencing, map design, spatial data management and work-flow design.

Matt Davies is a professional ecologist and geographer with 20 years’ experience in the UK environment sector. He began his career at JNCC, providing GIS and database support on marine and coastal projects. He then worked at the capital’s Environmental Record Centre, GiGL, where he managed a multi-disciplinary team that supported volunteer, community and wildlife recording groups and integrated their data into government decision making and the operational delivery of transport companies and emergency services. In 2015, he founded the geo-spatial consultancy Maplango to help people collect, analyse and visualise spatial data so they can make better informed decisions.

Centipedes and Millipedes

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
NEW!

Preston Montford, Shropshire

In this introduction to the identification of UK centipedes & millipedes you will learn the techniques of identification for the frequently met, but usually ignored creatures. Learn about their fascinating ecology and diversity here in the UK.

This course is offered at a reduced rate of £30 thanks to support from the FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity project.

Open lab/invertebrate collections day

Thursday, November 30, 2017

An informal day for the Shropshire Invetebrate Group (and friends) to work on their invertebrate ID skills, and/or catalogue and maintain the Preston Montford invertebrate collections. A classroom and microscopes will be available, with support (although no formal teaching) from FSC Biodiversity staff.

All are welcome anytime between 10am and 4pm. Please email Charlie Bell if you think you might come along.