Wildlife Training Workshops 2020 and Beyond . . .

Due to covid 19, we have had to think of ways to best deliver our wildlife training workshops, within the current guidelines

It was an incredibly sad time when the majority of our face-to-face training workshops were cancelled this year, due to the pandemic. Work for the programme begins the previous year, with bookings arriving from November onwards and most workshops were already fully booked for the year. Obviously we were unsure how long the situation would last, and we are all still living with the restrictions. 

A steep learning curve followed. Like most of us this year, we have had to become more familiar with online platforms in order to have meetings with our colleagues. After discussing and conducting many trial runs, we decided to use Microsoft Teams Live to run some online training workshops.

On 23 July we ran our very first online workshop; Introduction to Grasses with Brian Eversham. Over 100 people attended, which is one of the positives of online training. Another is that people can attend from other geographical areas, due to them being able to join from their own homes, rather than travelling. The Pollination and Pollinators online workshop held on 26 August had people attending from Scotland, Ireland and the USA. Following feedback received, most problems people encountered initially were due to accessing Teams using different web browsers and computer set-ups.  As our understanding in running online workshops has increased, we are now able to give more assistance to those who are having difficulty with access.

Some of the lovely feedback received from participants:

No commute, and great to see the grasses under the camera, makes it much easier to understand!

I thought it was great! I look forward to participating in more. It was the first WTBCN workshop I've been able to attend - I could never do the others because they either clashed with the working day or I couldn't get transport. Having them online makes them so much more accessible, although I realise it would be better in-person. I think it would be great if, when things go back to normal, you could keep holding some online sessions as well as the in-person ones.

The workshop was excellent and easy to follow on line. The accompanying handouts are really helpful and I have already used them to identify existing photographs I had previously taken of bees in order to embed the learning. Ryan was a very engaging, knowledgeable and enthusiastic presenter. Juliette skillfully managed the Q&A session by combining related areas of questions. The whole event was extremely professional and enjoyable. I learned loads! Thank you for running these sessions - I shall look out for more opportunities to participate in future events and workshops.

Due to the success of the online 2020 training workshops, we are are continuing with this format for 2021, but also with the option of attending outdoor sessions held in a small group(s). Later in the year we hope to be able to run some workshops (including BES1 and BES2) in the usual face-to-face format.

If you are interested in finding our more about our training workshops, then please visit our website:

https://www.wildlifebcn.org/get-involved/training-workshops

Or e-mail: trainingworkshops@wildlifebcn.org