A four-day field course at the Cornwall Beaver Project
17th – 20th June 2022
Biodiversity Loss sits alongside Climate Change & Pollution as one of the “Big 3” environmental threats. The UN categorises 1,000,000 species of animals and plants at risk of extinction globally. While in the UK, more than half of UK species are in decline with 15% threatened with extinction.
Is re-wilding a solution?
Re-wilding is the process of re-instating a natural ecosystem through the re-introduction of native vegetation and keystone species to a designated area or wider landscape. Once biodiversity is re-established, natural processes take over from active environmental management…
It is now forming part of a growing number of solutions, with the UK government earmarking up to £1.2 billion per year for “environmental action”. The aim is to regenerate a portion of the 70% of UK’s landmass that is farmland by creating nature-based land management schemes.
The Beaver Project
In 2021, Made in the Wild partnered with Woodland Valley Farm in Cornwall to carry out an annual biodiversity “blitz” survey to monitor the progress of their Cornwall Beaver Project. The beavers were introduced to the farm in June 2017 and immediately began building their new home by engineering the landscape around them. The project now provides a case study model for other landowners in the UK for re-introducing the beaver as a keystone species to promote & protect biodiversity whilst also improving farm sustainability by reducing flooding, soil erosion and nutrient loss.
Made in the Wild
Made in the Wild’s mission is to spotlight global biodiversity, inspire a curiosity in the natural world and conserve it for future generations. We believe the best place for the biology classroom is in the field! Our Field Courses have been running since 2018, designed exclusively for dedicated undergraduate biology (and related science) students who are committed to pursuing a career in wildlife research, conservation, and media.
MITW also provides a unique opportunity to gain experience within live research projects internationally, producing Field Courses in partnership with The Painted Dog Research Trust in Zimbabwe and with The Namibian Lion Trust in Namibia – giving real hands-on experience & insight.
Alongside hosting the Field Courses, MITW founder, Jack Randall, produces wildlife films and guides wildlife expeditions. You can check out Jack’s adventures on National Geographic WILD & Disney+, with his television series “Out There with Jack Randall”.
What to Expect
This uniquely integrated 4-day / 3-night field course is designed for biological science, agricultural & related students to gain practical experience working on the Cornwall Beaver Project while furthering knowledge of re-wilding projects in the UK and the growing industry it now surrounds in the environmental conservation & ecology sectors.
You will learn the industry-set field surveying techniques for managing & monitoring re-wilding projects by carrying out supervised research tasks;
- Wildlife surveys: with emphasis on invertebrate, herpetofauna & mammal populations inside and outside of the Beaver habitats. You will further learn how to set up similar “Bio-Blitz’s” for quick in-situ surveys.
- Night surveys: including bat identification assessments, surveys & sound analysis along North-South farm transects. Bats are a bioindicator of insect & habitat diversity as each species occupy different insectivorous niches.
- Camera trapping: set cameras and collect image data from beaver ponds and the resident badger setts as part of ongoing species behaviour monitoring.
You will also participate in guest lectures & group discussions on the “how’s, why’s and what’s” of re-wilding & regenerative farming projects, and how these projects are paving new career opportunities. The curricula over the 4 days include:
- The Natural History of UK wildlife
- Re-wilding & restoring biodiversity – why now?
- How to analyse areas & species suitable for re-wilding
- How to re-wild Beavers in the UK
- The economics of re-wilding & regenerative farming in a wider land management strategy
- Use of emerging genetic technologies for rapid biodiversity assessments, including the use of portable DNA sequencing and PCR set-ups
- Careers in re-wilding & related UK based environmental projects
All supervision and lectures are by staff at Made in the Wild, Cornwall Beaver Project, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Woodland Valley Farm and Plymouth University. Each field course is limited to just 7 students per team as our supervision resources are limited due to being integrated into a real survey project.
Fri 17th – 20th June 2022
Please note, places will be allocated on a first-come-first serve basis.
Woodland Valley Farm, home of the Cornwall Beaver Project.
Situated in Ladock, mid-Cornwall, just 8 miles from Truro & St Austell and only 20 mins from Newquay.
The fee covers your 3-night stay in dorm style accommodation at Woodland Valley Farm, all food (breakfast, lunch & dinner), field survey supervision & re-wilding lectures. If you live locally and do not wish to have accommodation, please let us know.
For additional information, or if you would like to join the field course, please contact: email@example.com