If you are concerned about whether to take part in surveys during the COVID-19 outbreak, please check the current government guidelines to help you decide if it is appropriate and safe for you to do so.
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Training links

Training courses

While water vole field signs are distinctive, there are a number of species that produce similar signs. Reading through these training pages will give an understanding of the different field signs but to be able to accurately identify them in the field some practical experience is highly recommended.

This practical experience can be gained either by attending a training course that involves an outdoor session or by getting in touch with your local Mammal Group or Wildlife Trust and enquiring whether it would be possible to join an experienced monitor when they are conducting a survey.

Training courses:

  • Many of the Wildlife Trusts run courses on identifying water vole field signs. You can search for a course near you by selecting the date range you are interested in and then entering ‘water vole’ into the search bar on their site.
  • Wildwood Trust in Kent run course on water vole ecology and conservation.
  • A number of other organisations run training courses, you can search for any in your local area on Countryside Jobs.


Once you are signed up to the water vole forum you will be able to ask if anyone in your local area would be able to mentor you/show you how to ID field signs in the field.

Alternatively you can get in touch with your local mammal group and ask if you can join an experienced monitor. A list of the Mammal Groups in England, Scotland and Wales can be found on the Mammal Society’s website.


>> Back to training home or straight to Register to take part

Training menu:

An introduction to the NWVMP
Planning your survey
Searching for field signs
Carrying out your survey
After your survey
More training links

• Feedback- we would really value your feedback on these training pages and also on the monitoring programme. Please email any comments to

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