Managing Woodland 1 – Evaluating Biodiversity

With guidance from your tutor Paul Ritchie, learn to evaluate the biodiversity and conservation potential of a wood. He will introduce the broad aspects of biodiversity, including ecosystems, habitats and species. You will discuss how abiotic and biotic factors influence the natural environment and then try various methods and equipment used for surveying woodland. Finally, you will build a virtual woodland ecosystem using the data gathered throughout the course.

This is a level 2 (GCSE level) course and is aimed at beginners who wish to start learning about nature conservation in British woodland.

Tutor Information – Paul Ritchie

As a chartered biologist with over 20 years of experience as a countryside manager looking after nature reserves and commons Paul is well placed to deliver training in ecology and practical conservation management. He has held roles training employees and volunteers for the Metropolitan Police, City of London and now Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Turning back the clock Paul started working on the land as a farm labourer on a mixed arable and livestock farm in the Chiltern Hills. He went on to study zoology at the University of Nottingham (studying ants in Edale, African carnivores and tapeworms!) whilst volunteering for organisations conserving canals and waterways.

As a police officer Paul undertook a variety of roles in Harringey, Highbury and Central London, which included training new recruits, community engagement and rescuing wildlife (a degree in zoology is invaluable for this!). During his spare time Paul helped out in the London Wildlife Trust education centre at Railway Fields.

After studying ecology and conservation at Birbeck College (University of London) Paul had a second 20-year career in parks, gardens and open spaces with City of London. He helped to establish the community woodland project at Ashtead Common NNR; trained and assessed apprentices; and worked closely with volunteer and community groups.

Paul is now the Community Learning Coordinator for Surrey Wildlife Trust working with his colleagues and external tutors to plan and deliver a wide range of scientific and practical courses for adults. Paul has complemented his prior experience as an associate lecturer for the University of Surrey by recently completing a PTLLS course (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long learning sector).

How to Apply

Please visit our website or contact the Adult Learning Team by e-mail at or by telephone on 01372 379523.

Please mention when enrolling in this Course!

Key Information

Start date:

7th November 2017 at 10:00am


members £35, non-members £40


Surrey Wildlife Trust




Biodiversity, Countryside & Land Management


Nower Wood Educational Nature Reserve, United Kingdom

Location Map