East Bergholt, Colchester, UK
Posted: 2 years ago


£240 per course

Find Out More

This intermediate course will explore the history of the otters and water voles, their ecology and conservation requirements

Following a dramatic decline in the last century, otter numbers have recovered so that they are now a widespread species. In contrast, the water vole is now one of Britain’s most declining mammals.

This course combines indoor talks with a field-based session each day.  The emphasis will be on gaining practical skills to be able to survey for otters and water voles, recognising their signs in the field and understanding their habitat requirements.

You will spend your course amidst the quintessentially English countryside of the Dedham Vale in Suffolk situated on the banks of the River Stour.
Location: FSC Flatford Mill
Duration: 2 days
Date: Sat 15, October 2022 10:00 – Sun 16, October 2022 17:00
Level: Intermediate
Tutor: Simone Bullion
Price: £240.00

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Early career ecologists, Citizen scientists, Volunteer surveyors, Land managers

Knowledge Level

Intermediate. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge

Knowledge of UK mammals would be beneficial, though those with previous experience would still benefit as the tutor is open to answering a range of questions at different levels.

What will be covered during this course?

  • Ecology of otter and water vole
  • Recognising signs of otter and water vole
  • How to undertake surveys of these species
  • Legislation protecting these species
  • Conservation measures including habitat enhancement

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe otter and water vole ecology and conservation
  • Understand how and where to place survey equipment in the field to optimise the chances of detecting otters and water voles using various techniques
  • Explain relevant habitat management in the presence of otters and water voles
  • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our fantastic tutor will combine the use of classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities to give individuals the skills and confidence to progress their learning.

Tutor: Simone Bullion

Simone Bullion is a Conservation Manager for Suffolk Wildlife Trust. She has been running training courses and coordinating mammal surveys for over 20 years. She has held a Natural England dormouse licence for 17 years, which enables her to check nest boxes and tubes specially designed for dormice.

Please Note: There is no accommodation provided with this course. If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at Flatford Mill, please email

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached