Identification Trainers for the Future

A group of people taking part in a training session to identify UK wildlife

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.

Ten trainees from the Identification Trainers for the Future scheme

The first two teams of trainees outside the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity

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:

Inspiring the next generation of UK wildlife experts

Identification Trainers for the Future is led by the Museum in partnership with:

Field Studies Council 

Field Studies Council logo
National Biodiversity Network Trust logo


The scheme is generously supported by:

Heritage Lottery Fund Skills for the Future programme

Heritage Lottery Funded logo

Species experts shortage

Find out more about the critical need for new species identification experts and how the Museum plans to help.

Join our online community

Share your identification tips and knowledge with other wildlife enthusiasts on our ID forums.

Nature Groups Near You

Find UK-based wildlife societies running recording schemes and conservation activities in your area.

Develop your natural history skills and interests at the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity