A British Ecological Society Special Interest Group
Fom Jocelyne Hughes
The one-day course started off in brilliant sunshine: 24 participants arrived at Wytham just west of Oxford for a morning of indoor teaching in the converted stables of the FAI Farm (the University Field Station is currently being reorganised and repainted inside). Keith Kirby and Nigel Fisher enthusiastically led the day which combined indoor lectures, discussions and a practical in the morning with an outdoor ‘walk and talk’ in the Woods in the afternoon. There was plenty of opportunity to ask questions, interact with the tutors, and for the participants to contribute their own experience to the course. It was this mix of experiences which made the course so enjoyable- it brought together a vibrant group of woodland professionals and managers, small woodland owners, postgraduate students and representatives from community groups, and we even had one participant from Tasmania.
As the day progressed it became more and more cloudy, and of course the rain began once we were out in the Woods! At the end of the afternoon we took shelter in the Chalet for a round-up session on woodland management. It really was a very useful and informative day, and we are hugely grateful to the BES Forest Ecology Group funding which supported our aspiration to produce training that is financially accessible at a time when training budgets, individual incomes, and community-based resources are under considerable strain. A big thank-you on behalf of all the participants who had a very informative and useful day at an affordable price.
Jocelyne M.R. Hughes, Programme Director in Ecological Survey Techniques, Oxford University Department for Continuing Education