Crayfish Ecology and Identification Adult course - Book Now!

Measuring a crayfish under license. Photo: Essex Wildlife Trust

Spend a day on Essex rivers learning about crayfish species and how Essex Wildlife Trust has been monitoring our native crayfish population. For more information or to book email or phone 01621 862960.

This course provides an introduction to crayfish ecology and identification. We will look at the known distribution in Essex and the ecology of native and non-native crayfish species. The native crayfish has suffered a dramatic decline in Essex in recent decades, reflecting its demise across much of the country, primarily at the hands of the alien American Signal Crayfish and the disease which they carry – Crayfish Plague. By the end of the day participants will be able to distinguish the three species found in Essex – our native White-clawed Crayfish and the invasive Signal Crayfish and Turkish Crayfish.

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Date: Friday 27th July 2018

Time: 10am - 4pm

Venue: Stebbing Village hall, Dunmow

£30 donation requested

Introduction to Barn Owls Course - Spaces available!

Barn Owl. photo: Essex Wildlife Trust

Spaces are available on the Essex WIldlife Trust adult course "An Introduction to Barn Owls", for more information or to book your place please contact or phone 01621 862960.

Wild Barn Owls in the UK are affectionately associated with open spaces of the rural environment, often glimpsed as majestic or ghostly figures swooping to pluck small mammals from amongst the tufts of grass below with their talons. This course is an opportunity to learn more about this iconic wild bird species, with no previous knowledge required. The course will focus on the ecology of Barn owls, as well as conservation initiatives and surveying techniques. For more information click here.

Date: Weds 25th July 2018

Time: 10am - 4pm

Venue: Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough, CO5 7RZ

£30 donation per person

Adult course - our native trees

Native woodlands and the way they have been managed are an often-overlooked aspect of our history. Learn about our native tree species and the history of our native woodlands on this adult course. Book your place now by phone on 01621 862960, or email

Native woodlands and the way they have been managed are an often-overlooked aspect of our history. The course will begin with an introduction to and history of native woodlands, looking at what defines a native tree and moving on to the state of our woodlands in the present day. It will focus on trees that are likely to be found in the woodlands and hedgerows of Essex and will explain how we identify trees using a combination of clues such as leaves, buds, bark, tree height and location. Simple identification keys will also be discussed.  The course is aimed at those with little or no experience of native tree identification but should also appeal to those with some knowledge of the subject. Led by Bill Godsafe at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, 

Date: Sat 14th July

Time: 10:00am- 4:00pm

Venue: Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre

donation £30 per person.

Learn about Dragonflies and Damselflies with Essex Wildlife Trust

Places are available on the Essex Wildlife Trust "Beginners Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies" adult course, phone 01621 862960 or email to book your place!

Aimed at those of you that wish to know more about these fascinating species that are proving increasingly popular. You will be able to understand the life of dragonflies and their importance as an indicator of a healthy environment. The morning will be looking at the lifecycle, threats and species that occur in Essex. The afternoon will concentrate on practical identification so that the course attendees will feel confident in identifying dragonfly and damselfly species in the field. Led by Alan Shearring.

Date: Wednesday 4th July 2018

Venue: Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough

Time: 10am - 4pm

Donation £30 per person

Butterfly Identification and Recording adult course - Booking open

The Essex Wildlife Trust adult course "Butterfly Identification and Recording" has spaces available this June; book now to secure your place by calling 01621 862960 or emailing


This course is aimed at people who are interested in volunteering to take part in butterfly monitoring in Essex as part of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. The course will cover butterfly ecology, identification of common Essex species and butterfly surveying using the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme methodology. The course will also include an opportunity to search for and identify butterflies around Abbotts Hall Farm, weather permitting. Led by Lorna Shaw at Abbotts Hall Farm


Date: Thursday 28th June 2018

Time: 10am - 4pm

Venue: Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough

Donation £30 per person.