In addition to practical experience through volunteering, shadowing and subcontracting, attaining new knowledge and skills through training opportunities is always beneficial. This can be undertaken through more formal training such as webinars and in-person training, or by going out in the field on your own and regularly practicing identification techniques of wildflowers, trees or birds etc. To stand out from the crowd, using up spare time to improve your identification skills can be invaluable.
Some courses can be very expensive, so below are links to some organisations which run free or charitable donation webinars and provide useful resources.
We find that the following are useful identification guides for ecology:
- The Wild Flower Key (Revised Edition) – Francis Rose
- Collins Wild Flower Guide 2nd Edition
- Collins Tree Guide
- A Field Guide to Grasses, Sedges and Rushes – Species Recovery Trust (Dominic Price)
- Winter trees: a photographic guide to common trees and shrubs – FSC (Dominic Price and Leif Bersweden)
- FSC – fold-out guides (great beginners guides for in the field)
- British Bat Calls A Guide to Species Identification – Jon Russ
- Amphibians and reptiles (Naturalists’ Handbook): Vol. 31 – Trevor Beebee
- Britain’s Reptiles and Amphibians – Howard Inns and Chris Packham
- Surveying for reptiles Tips, techniques and skills to help you survey for reptiles – Froglife
- Sunbird ID apps for Apple and Android (trees, wildflowers, bird, fungi etc).
- All Birds UK app