Nature lovers can learn more about voles and otters and help record information on toads and frogs

Water vole

Water vole - Credit: Archant

Ever wanted to know how to spot a water vole or an otter? Then a talk later this month is just the thing.

The Middle Level Commission is holding its annual training event to teach people how to identify the field signs of these shy animals and also separate them from the signs of other species such as rats and American mink.

The course is in two parts. There will be an evening presentation looking at images of tracks, trails, feeding signs, burrows, droppings, spraints, scats and other signs on Wednesday (April 8) from 7pm to 8.15pm in the boardroom of the Middle Level Commissioners (MLC) offices, 85 Whittlesey Road, March PE15 0AH.

The following Saturday morning on April 11 there will be a field trip from 10am to about 12.15pm to view signs of both water vole and otter at various locations. Meet at the MLC office car park and travel to the sites in as few cars as possible.

It is not necessary to attend both training days but the best insight will be gained if you can come to both events. There is no charge for these training days.


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If you are interested in expanding your experience there will be opportunities to volunteer to assist with water vole surveys at local Drainage Board Districts and help with otter spraint surveys.

And if you are interested in amphibians then there is a chance to help out with the great spawn count.

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Are there frogs or toads in your garden pond or a pond you visit? If so Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Amphibian and Reptile Group would like you to take part in the “Big Spawn Count” run by a partner organisation The Freshwater Habitats Trust to report frog and toad spawn.

The more people counting, the better the information; helping organisations to improve the advice and support given in the future, so this spring, the public is asked to take part and help provide more of an insight into the amorous lives of toads and frogs.

To take part in the Big Spawn Count go to your garden, school or field pond, count the number of clumps of frog spawn or strings of toad spawn present and enter the results on line at www.freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/big-spawn-count/

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Amphibian and Reptile Group holds talks, carries out surveying and monitoring for our native amphibians and reptiles and habitat management. You can find out more and record your sightings of frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards at www.groups.arguk.org/CPARG

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