This event is now fully booked - email [email protected] to join the waiting list if a space comes available. Please email us if you have registered and can no longer attend.




ARC Snakes in the Heather (SitH) Reptile Survey Training Event (classroom)

This in person classroom event is an introduction to reptile ecology and survey skills useful for observing reptiles in the UK. There is a special emphasis on ARC’s flagship Snakes in the Heather (SitH) project and is aimed at anyone interested in becoming a ‘Reptile Surveyor’ to help us find the elusive smooth snake on the heathlands of southern England. View the ‘SitH Reptile Surveyor Journey’ here

This event is also suitable for:

  • Anyone interested in taking part in other ARC projects and ARC volunteering activities throughout the UK (and/or those of our partner conservation organisations), including the ARC National Reptile Survey
  • Existing ARC and partner organisation volunteers who have been previously trained in reptile survey fieldcrafts and would like a refresher.
  • Reasons of personal development or general interest for anyone working in the conservation sector or studying a conservation or environmental based course.

Please note that places are limited and priority will be given to partner organisation staff and those who are volunteering for the SitH project in the Purbeck area. You must be age 18 or over to become a SitH Reptile Surveyor. Registration closes on 30th March at 5pm - placed are limited to 20 on a first come first serve basis. Email [email protected] if you have any questions. 

 Friday 31st March 2023

Time: 09:00 to 16:00. Please arrive in good time, taking into account heavy traffic throughout Dorset.

Hosts: Ben Limburn (SitH Citizen Science & Operations Officer) and Owain Masters (SitH Public Engagement & Education Officer).

Cost: No charge. Free parking at venue (let us know your vehicle registration when you arrive).

Location: Avon Heath Country Park, Brocks Pine, St Ives, Ringwood, Dorset, BH24 2DH

Training agenda:

  • 09:00 - 09:15  Arrival and refreshments
  • 09:15 - 09:30  Introductions: why reptile survey?
  • 09:30 - 10:15  Reptile identification
  • 10:15 - 10:45  Reptile ecology
  • 10:45 - 11:15  Quiz & comfort break
  • 11:15 - 12:15  Survey methodologies
  • 12:15 - 12:30  Q&A and next steps
  • 12:45 - 13:30  Lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:30  Reptile survey on site; walking distance 3-5km (2-3 miles)
  • 15:30 - 16:00  Refreshments and close

What will be provided: Training resources and survey equipment; sign-posts to further opportunities to take part in reptile surveys or ARC projects. Drinks (teas, coffee, juices, water) and snacks will also be provided. 

What to bring: Yourself (please arrive in good time), pen & paper; stout footware and trousers suitable for walking in thick heathland vegetation (heather/gorse) and on uneven ground; clothes appropriate for the weather conditions; sun cream; water and lunch.

Additional info: This event is intended for people living within the SitH project 'Delivery Region' of Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex, and is aimed at our project partners and volunteers in the Purbecks. The event is not suitable for amateur or professional photographers wishing to take photos of native reptile species.

The training is an essential first step for anybody wishing to become a Snakes in the Heather (SitH) volunteer Reptile Surveyor. Due to the strict legal protection of some species you may see on this project, all SitH project Reptile Surveyors must be appropriately licenced to survey. ARC is able to accredit surveyors who have an appropriate level of knowledge and field skills to its organisational protected species survey licence. Beyond this introductory training we offer SitH project volunteers additional field based training and survey mentoring (arranged in small groups or on a one-to-one basis).

Registration & cancellation: Before completing this form, please ensure you have registered contact information via the following link. Please complete a new registration form for each additional person attending.

Click the 'Book' button below and complete the event registration form. On registering, you will receive confirmation email to join the event (please check your spam folder if not in you inbox). If you can no longer attend this event or have any questions, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing: [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you on the day!

Best wishes,
The Snakes in the Heather Team

Snakes in the Heather

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ARC Reptile Survey Training Event

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