Identification Trainers for the Future
Our work-based training programme is designed to address a critical and growing shortage of wildlife identification and recording skills in the UK.
There has never been a greater need to document, monitor and understand changes in the UK's wildlife. Yet the number of people with the skills to survey and accurately identify species, handle and preserve reference specimens, and share their skills with others is declining.
The training programme involves:
- Fifteen 12-month traineeships, delivered between 2015 and 2017.
- A work-based training programme that will provide you with the knowledge, confidence and skills to:
- understand and communicate the value of biological recording
- survey and identify a wide range of UK species groups
- train others, so that you can help reverse the decline in biological recording
- A tax-free bursary of £16,500 for each trainee, to cover living costs.
To find out what our trainees are doing and learn more about the programme, see our information sheet PDF (338KB).
If you have any questions about the training programme, email us.
Applications for the traineeships starting in March 2017 have now closed.
Meet our trainees
Our first five trainees started in March 2015, followed by our second set of trainees in March 2016 and our third set in March 2017. Find out about them and follow their progress in our blog.
Our first trainees gave a talk at the Museum in 2015, discussing the diverse range of wildlife and skills they were learning about on the scheme. Watch the video on YouTube.
Identification resources by our trainees
During their time with us, trainees produce a range of materials designed to help support naturalists in their own identification work.
The first of these to be published are:
- A multi-access key to the common families of British grasses, developed by Sally Hyslop in conjunction with the Field Studies Council's Tomorrow's Biodiversity project. Read about the development of the key in Sally's blog.
- An aid to identifying 39 orchid species when they are not in flower, developed by Mike Waller. Download A beginner's vegetative guide to orchids of the British Isles PDF (8.8MB).
- An introduction to Blackheath’s clovers and allies: developed by Joseph Beale in conjunction with The Blackheath Society. Joe also ran a guided walk in Blackheath, using this guide to introduce people to Clovers and their allies, as well as other wildlife encountered.
- In conjunction with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Chloe Rose developed an easy-to-use pocket sized Shrill Carder Bee Identification Card. This formed part of her pilot study to launch a citizen science project to monitor the distribution and spread of the shrill carder bee. The final project report can be found here. Chloe also ran a bumblebee identification workshop in Brighton.