FSC BioLinks Volunteer ID Days

Open Lab Day Infographic

What are Volunteer ID Days?

Identifying and recording invertebrates often involves the use of microscopes and identification books and keys, acquiring these can cost a lot of money. Our Volunteer ID Days are opportunities for people to come to our centres to use our lab facilities, microscopes, identification guides and other resources. They are free to attend (but please email us to book on). A range of people come on these days, they are perfect for beginners to practice their ID skills but those more experienced also come along to meet up, work on collections and make use of our resources. They're a great way to meet other recorders and learn new skills. An FSC BioLinks project staff member will also be on-hand to provide support and guidance (please note: you'll have access to our tea and coffee making facilities but please bring your own lunch and any other refreshments you may require!).

We also run some taxon-specific Volunteer ID Days when we ask one of our tutors to come along to provide support and verify any identifications you have made. Please note, there may be a small charge for these taxon-specific days to help cover 

Below is a summary of the facilities and dates of our Volunteer ID Days, alongside similar opportunities from some of our project partners.

Using microscopes at FSC London: Bushy Park

FSC BioLinks Volunteer ID Day Locations

FSC Preston Montford (Shropshire) - A classroom, microscopes, the FSC invertebrate collections and Biodiversity Library will be available, with support from FSC BioLinks Officer Holly Dillon.  The full biodiversity Library catalogue can be viewed online at the bottom of this webpage. In addition, there is also access to specimen pins, plastazote and other lab consumables and equipment. Holly will be working in the lab between 10am and 4pm and you are welcome to join her for the full day, or drop in for part of the day.  

FSC Bishops Wood (Worcestershire) - A classroom, microscopes, and a small library of reference books will be available. FSC BioLinks Officer Holly Dillon will be working in the lab between 10 am and 4pm and is happy to provide support where she can. You are welcome to join her for the full day, or drop in for part of the day. In addition, Holly will be happy to bring along any ID keys/guides from the Preston Montford library along with her for you to use  (please contact her in advance to arrange this).

FSC London: Bushy Park (London) - The Adult Biodiversity Training Room at Bushy Park is equipped with 10 dissecting microscopes and 1 compound microscope, as well as a growing invertebrate identification literature library. In addition, there is also access to specimen pins, plastazote and other lab consumables and equipment.  FSC BioLinks Manager Keiron Brown will be working in the lab between 10am and 3pm and you are welcome to join him for the full day, or drop in for part of the day. 

FSC Bishops Wood Field Centre

Upcoming FSC BioLinks Volunteer ID Days

Booking is essential due to limited equipment. Please book via the FSC website: https://www.field-studies-council.org/biolinks-courses/

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these events are currently on hold and will resume when social distancing restrictions are eased.

South East: 

2021 details coming soon...

West Midlands: 

2021 details coming soon...

Other Invertebrate Recorder Training Hub Facilities

The Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum (London) - The AMC promotes the study of natural history in the UK, and is a resource for all amateur and professional naturalists and UK natural history societies. Easy-to-access reference collections of objects are housed in the Centre. They cover a wide range of UK plants, animals, rocks and fossils and are designed to help naturalists learn more about their chosen groups and identify their own specimens. Microscopes and photo-stacking equipment are also available for recorders to use (10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00) during weekdays and on the first Saturday of each month (or the second Saturday where the first Saturday is during a Bank Holiday weekend). The AMC also houses the London Natural History Society library, which is open to the general public to browse. To use the AMC facilities, simply book through the online form: www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/contact-enquiries/forms/angela-marmont-centre/boo...

BENHS Open Days at Dinton Pastures (Berkshire) - The British Entomological & Natural History Society host regular Members Open Days (on specified Sundays between 10.30–16.00), where BENHS members are able to access microscopes, the impressive invertebrate collections and the substantial literature library at their headquarters in The Pelham-Clinton Building in Dinton Pastures Country Park. For more details about becoming a BENHS member and attending BENHS Members Open Days visit the BENHS website: http://www.benhs.org.uk

RECORD logoRECORD Drop-in Sessions (Cheshire) - A monthly evening drop-in session supported by RECORD, Chester Zoo and the Tanyptera Project. The sessions run from 19:15 – 22:00 at Chester Zoo, with no need to book or be present for the whole session. These are informal evenings where recorders can come together and assist each other with queries and mentoring at a convenient time. There will be opportunities to practise using keys and microscopes in a supportive environment or you could use the session to simply meet up, have a cup of tea and discuss recording or spend time on other indoor activities. You can also request World Museum reference specimens and literature in advance to help check identifications / practise with a particular group. Feel free bring your own material too. If you are thinking of attending and would like more information, check out the North West Invertebrates website: www.northwestinvertebrates.org.uk/events/category/drop-in

Merseyside BioBank logoBioBank Twilight Sessions (Merseyside) - A monthly drop-in session at Mersey Biobank offices to bring together recorders to assist each other with queries and mentoring at a time convenient for 9 – 5 workers (18:30 - 20:30). Through the Tanyptera project, we are also able to provide, on demand, access to World Museum Entomology collections. No need to book – just turn up! If you are thinking of attending and would like more information, check out the North West Invertebrates website: www.northwestinvertebrates.org.uk/events/category/drop-in

Tanyptera Trust LogoTanyptera Trust Entomology Collection Days (Merseyside) - An informal all-day session that will usually be held on the third Thursday of each month for Entomologists of any experience level to use their facilities at World Museum. Use their collection, library, microscopes and imaging equipment. Develop new skills and help promote insect recording and conservation. Talk about, identify and photograph insects and other invertebrates. The Tanyptera Regional Entomology Project Officer Gary Hedges will be working in the lab between 10:30 and 16:30 and you are welcome to join him for the full day or part of the day. There is no need to book but please meet us at reception at either 10:30 am or 1:30 pm. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided but please bring your own lunch or use World Museum Café. Check out the North West Invertebrates website for more details: www.northwestinvertebrates.org.uk/events/category/entomology-collection-days

The Preston Montford Biodiversity Library Catalogue

The spreadsheet cataloguing the libraries resources can be browsed below or downloaded here.