Training and education

Ross Hoddinott

Learn something new!

Here are a collection of training courses and videos by Somerset Wildlife Trust experts to help you learn more about different areas of conservation, get advice, and apply your learnings to your own community or land. 

Land management

Wilder Churches session one

The Wilder Churches initiative sees us come together with the Diocese of Bath and Wells to support communities to protect biodiversity in their local churchyard or other church land and work together to find ways to increase the value of these special places for wildlife.

Churchyards are often the oldest enclosed piece of land in a parish and many still support a rich variety of wildflowers and wildlife, having remained unscathed from the widespread loss of habitats seen in the wider countryside due to changing land management practices. Through Wilder Churches, we hope to help communities learn more about their churchyards and how they can manage them with wildlife in mind.

This is a recording of the first of the Wilder Churches online sessions, originally held via Zoom in March 2021.

Wilder Churches session two

This is a recording of the second event in a series of free ‘Wilder Churches’ online training and support. This session focuses on getting to know your churchyard with wildlife in mind, with advice and support on discovering the current value of your churchyard for wildlife, a vital first step in helping biodiversity in these special places.

The event also provides advice ways to communicate about Wilder Churches in your community and encourage others to join in, together with guidance on how to find out the key information about your churchyard and how it is currently managed. Catch up on the video and if you are interested, please let us know and get involved in your community!

Wilder Churches session three

In this session, Pippa Rayner, the Trust's Engaging with Nature Coordinator, provides advice and support on potential beneficial actions for wildlife in your churchyard, other church land or burial ground. This includes examples of what some communities have already achieved in their local churchyard and what they have learnt along the way. Emma Brown, Church Buildings Adviser for the Diocese also provides information on things to consider when planning to take action for wildlife in your churchyard and how to get in touch for detailed guidance. Ensuring everyone in your community has a chance to share their ideas and thoughts on how the churchyard is cared for is also really important. Pippa suggests ways to consult your community and together identify actions for wildlife that work for your community and the church.

Right tree, right place for Mendip

Planting the right trees in the right place can help to safeguard the future of our wildlife, as well as help mitigate climate change.

Experts from Somerset Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust provided advice in this online event that aimed to help landowners and communities in Mendip plan successful tree planting and woodland creation projects.

This is a recording of an online interactive event held in November 2020.

Pond creation and restoration workshop

A talk by John Dickson from the Somerset Reptile and Amphibian Group about creating or restoring a pond! Learn how to create or restore a pond to maximise its value for wildlife with this handy training session. 

Agroforestry information webinar

In the unfolding climate crisis we are being urged to increase the amount of trees in our landscape to boost carbon capture, but trees in an agricultural system can have a myriad of additional benefits and even add new enterprises to the farm business. Hedges, in-field trees, shelter belts, orchards and grazed woodlands all count as agroforestry and can all have a positive impact on livestock health, soil health, water management and nutrient management.

This video is a record of an event organised by Somerset Wildlife Trust, chaired by Eleanor Higginson, the facilitator of a farm cluster in the Mendip Hills who are part of the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund initiative. Speakers include Lindsay Whistance, Senior Livestock Researcher at The Organic Research Centre and Jeremy Evans, Outreach Advisor for the Southwest at the Woodland Trust.

They discuss what considerations need to be made when establishing an agroforestry system in order to maximise benefits and what those benefits could be.

The Great British Hedgerow Survey with the People's Trust for Endangered Species 

A recording of an event by Megan Gimber from the People's Trust for Endangered Species as she leads you through the Great British hedgerow survey. Megan covers hedge wildlife, management and history of hedges. She then covers the Great British Hedgerow Survey. This survey provides a health check for our hedges, and gives tailored management advice to help ensure this precious habitat can thrive in the future. Volunteer surveyors can help us to build a national picture of hedgerows in the UK, which could help inform land management practices and protect hedges in the future.

Grassland creation, restoration and management

This course is an introductory session covering some of the basic principles to consider when managing grasslands to promote species diversity in Somerset. 


Caudwell Lyme Co

Lyme disease and tick awareness video

Thanks to Rosie from Caudwell LymeCo for providing us with this important training video to help visitors, staff and volunteers stay safe outdoors on our reserves.

It covers Lyme disease, its symptoms, tick bite prevention, and what to do if you think you might have Lyme.