Reptile ecology

(c) Ellen Winter

Course: Reptile Ecology

Location: Cinderford, Forest of Dean
The UK’s native snakes and lizards face extinction unless we take action. This course aims to enable you to identify and survey suitable habitat, to identify species you find, and to assist in future reptile conservation.

Event details


09:30 to 16:00
A static map of Course: Reptile Ecology

About the event

The day includes a morning site visit to maximise the chances of finding reptiles at two nearby locations and to practise habitat assessment, survey techniques and identification. After lunch there is an indoor session learning reptile identification features, ecology, legal protection, recording and conservation best practice to consolidate learning.


  • Location: Cinderford
  • Tutor: Alan Sumnall
  • Date : Sunday 28th April 2019
  • Times: 09:30 – 16.00
  • Level: Open to All
  • Price: £49 per person, or £53.10 per person plus guide

Course expectations

Over the day the course will cover:

  • Identification and ecology of native UK reptiles
  • Habitat assessment and key features
  • Key threats to reptiles and conservation management
  • Surveying: timing, refugia, and recording results for conservation
  • Animal welfare, legal protection, health & safety and biosecurity measures

At the end of the course participants can expect to have a firm foundation of reptile identification, ecology, and survey best practice on which to build their field knowledge and conservation skills.

About the Tutor

Engaging and experienced tutor Alan Sumnall has been managing nature reserves for over 10 years. His enthusiasm comes across for all wildlife, but reptiles, dormice, butterflies and wildflowers are particular loves. His hard-earned practical and academic knowledge is backed up with a friendly and infectious approach.


09.15 : Registration and refreshments

09.30 : Welcome and introductions

09.40 : Field visit to two sites

12.30 : Lunch: bring a packed lunch.

13.30 : Indoor presentation

15.30 : Discussion and review of the day

16.00 : Course ends

All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may change according to the weather, requirements of the group or wildlife factors.

What we provide

  • Light refreshments
  • All equipment needed
  • Course pack
  • Certificate of Attendance

What to Bring


  • Weather appropriate outdoor clothing (we advise clothing to cover arms, legs and feet).
  • Appropriate outdoor footwear with good grip.
  • A packed lunch and water.


  • Notebook and pencil
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Your own guide book and hand lens if you have them

Useful Guides

Roberts, Froglife & Ovenden (1999) FSC Fold-out Chart – Reptiles and Amphibians Identification

Meeting point/Location

 Cinderford. Full directions given on booking. 

Parking and Transport

There is free but limited parking at all sites. There is a short drive required between the field site and indoor venue, so car sharing will be arranged on the day.

Accessibility and Health

If you have relevant medical or access requirements please let us know when booking.

The indoor venue has level access, disabled parking and toilet. Field visit approximately 3 hours on uneven, slippery and wet terrain.

Please contact course organiser Ellen Winter for more details - we are happy to work with you to facilitate attendance wherever possible.

About the Field Sites

Both sites are home to populations of all 4 widespread UK reptiles. One is managed for wildlife, the other mainly for people, with differing conditions, needs and approaches.

To read our Events Cancellation Policy, please click here.


Phone number



£49 per person, or £53.10 per person plus guide

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