Identifying Animal Tracks & Signs
10 April 2018, 10:00 - 15:00 ( Add to calendar )
Discover various ways to identify whether a mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian frequents an area near you. We will look at tracks, burrows, food remains, droppings, skulls and owl pellets when determining what species has been where. There will be classroom discussions mixed with practical activities using the ancient woodland surrounding the SWT education centre.
There will be some gentle walking involved.
Tutor Information - Paul Ritchie
As a chartered biologist with over 20 years of experience as a countryside manager looking after nature reserves and commons Paul is well placed to deliver training in ecology and practical conservation management. He has held roles training employees and volunteers for the Metropolitan Police, City of London and now Surrey Wildlife Trust.
Turning back the clock Paul started working on the land as a farm labourer on a mixed arable and livestock farm in the Chiltern Hills. He went on to study zoology at the University of Nottingham (studying ants in Edale, African carnivores and tapeworms!) whilst volunteering for organisations conserving canals and waterways.
As a police officer Paul undertook a variety of roles in Harringey, Highbury and Central London, which included training new recruits, community engagement and rescuing wildlife (a degree in zoology is invaluable for this!). During his spare time Paul helped out in the London Wildlife Trust education centre at Railway Fields.
After studying ecology and conservation at Birbeck College (University of London) Paul had a second 20-year career in parks, gardens and open spaces with City of London. He helped to establish the community woodland project at Ashtead Common NNR; trained and assessed apprentices; and worked closely with volunteer and community groups.
Paul is now the Community Learning Coordinator for Surrey Wildlife Trust working with his colleagues and external tutors to plan and deliver a wide range of scientific and practical courses for adults. Paul has complemented his prior experience as an associate lecturer for the University of Surrey by recently completing a PTLLS course (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long learning sector).