ERCCIS Workshop

Workshops organised and run by ERCCIS

Although it is always preferable to identify species in the field, many species groups require close examination or even dissection under the microscope. This workshop explains the best practice for taking specimens and how to ensure they can be kept in good condition for years to come. We will also explore the moral issues surrounding the euthanisation of specimens for scientific use and when it is or isn't appropriate to do so.

Lichens come in a vast array of shapes and colours. Though daunting at first, there are many common species which can be easily identified once you know what to look for. Cornwall is also home to many rare and in some cases bizarre species. Bob Hodgson from the British Lichen Society will guide you through the fundamentals of the structure and ecology of lichens and get you started on learning how to identify them.

National expert Dr Juliet Brodie from the Natural History Museum will be coming all the way down to Cornwall to lead us on a weekend devoted to seaweeds. Explore the coastal jungle beneath the tidal waters and learn how to
identify the algal fronds that provide structure and shelter to our rock pools.

Suitable for all levels of expertise. This workshop is likely to get booked up quick, so please email in advance.

PondNet is offering free species identification and survey technique training for its volunteers and the general public. These training sessions are linked to the species and habitat surveys often undertaken as a PondNet volunteer. However, the training is open to anyone who has a passion or an interest in freshwater identification and surveying. There are a limited number of training spaces available on each session, with priority given to PondNet volunteers, so we would recommend booking your place quickly.

The Angler’s Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) helps rivers to be monitored more widely and at greater frequency than is possible by the Environment Agency alone. Volunteers take kick samples from the river bed each month, recording the presence and abundance of invertebrate groups which are very sensitive to pollution and are therefore good indicators of water quality. We will be running several workshops throughout the county this year with the aim of introducing new volunteers to this scheme.

Please bring: Wellies, waders if you have them and lunch/drink

After his successful workshop last year looking at 'Plants in the Living Landscape', Keith Spurgin returns to coach us in the identification of grasses.

We will once again be exploring the National Trust's stunning West Pentire, Porth Joke and Cubert Common, this time focussing on the range of grass species which grow there. We will be covering how grasses differ from sedges and rushes, their importance to us and in the wider bio-community and how to study them.

This field trip serves not only as an introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies and their ecology and habitat requirements but as a useful guide to surveying skill and an opportunity to see the BAP species Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio and Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum. The old tin streaming beds of the Red River Valley Local Nature Reserve provide us with a range of habitats to investigate and a wide range of species to recognise
and record.

Come and learn how to identify, record and appreciate the commonly found native and nonnative trees found in the Cornish countryside. We will learn to recognise these trees in leaf, learn about their lifecycle and techniques to measure them, all essential information for land managers and recorders.

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To many, they are pests attacking trees and shrubs. To us they are an important part of our wide and diverse Cornish fauna which is all too often overlooked.
Weevils are among the most under-recorded species groups in Cornwall, despite the fact that many are brightly coloured or unusually shaped. Join Dr Keith Alexander in an examination into this distinct group of beetles, learn how they fit in to the ecology of our wild habitats and find out how to identify and record them.

Natural England's Matthew Shepherd will be coaching us in the identification of a species group which is rarely recorded but is vital for our soil ecology and always beneath out feet!
We will learn about the Eartworms Society of Britain's recording scheme and the techniques for sampling and examining these surprisingly fascinating invertebrates.

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