Certificate Library

Useful Links

On this page you will find links to extra reading material, fact sheets, modules, assignment details and the marking structure. If you think anything is missing please let us know and we can add it!


Extra reading (by species)

Acorn Ecology Factsheets

Invasive Species Course Modules


Core Week Presentations

Self Study Tutorials

Extra Reading

Everything that has links can be freely downloaded. Many of these resources will be / have been discussed during core week.

DormiceJess Smallcombe Dormouse

Conservation handbook

PTES videos for dormouse surveys (and other training info)

PTES dormouse training log book

Reptiles and amphibians

Great crested newt conservation handbook

Reptile and amphibian habitat management handbooks

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation


GOV.UK archived info about GCNs including mitigation guidelines (note – quite old now so just for interest – 2001)


BCT Good Survey Guidelines (non-printable edition)

BCT Professional Training Standards

The BCT website (www.bats.org.uk) is a great resource for info. There are documents there about roosts and factsheets about each species. Go explore!

Bat Workers’ Manual (nb – hasn’t been updated for a while but still useful). This can be downloaded in a number of parts. Useful glossary at the end for building terms etc when describing roosts.

CIEEMAcorn Ecology Great Crested Newt Surveys and Mitigation

A great source of ecological information. The Technical Guidance Series is very useful. There’s something for just about every species you will encounter (Competence for Species Surveys). There are also guidelines for report writing and Phase 1 surveys. You can sift through them from this link: http://www.cieem.net/technical-guidance-series-tgs-

To join CIEEM you will need to work out which is the right sort of membership for you. There is loads of information about this. You will need to decide which skills from their competency list are the best ones for you to submit, and then follow the instructions on how to apply. It’s quite a mammoth process, but worth it, professionally. http://www.cieem.net/members


The gov.co.uk website is a bit of a maze for sorting out licencing. However, this is a good point to start! https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wildlife-licences

2018: We mentioned the latest Policies for EPS licencing. You can watch a (rather long) CIEEM webinar about the here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26e90S0_foE&ytbChannel=CIEEM

There is also a bit of info about them on the Natural England website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-roll-out-of-new-approach-to-great-crested-newt-licensing

Other reading

There are a plethora of books out there! Different books will suit different people. For an introductory level of reading (but still packed with information) we recommend the Whittet book series. They are easy to read and contain all the basic biology and ecology for the species you need to know about.

Plant books. Again, different keys/guides suit different people. It’s often useful to have more than one guide, as they often describe plants quite differently e.g. Rose – Wild Flower key and Fitter – Wild Flower Guide (Collins).

Your local library will probably have a good stash of natural history books so you can try them out and see what suits you best.

And, of course, you should check the Acorn Ecology Blogs! We have a blog on our training website (www.ecologytraining.co.uk/blog) and on the consultancy website too (www.acornecology.co.uk)

If you find a useful resource, why not share it with the rest of the group via the Facebook page. Alternatively, send it to us (training@acornecology.co.uk) and we can email it around to the class and add it here.

Happy reading!

Keep in touch with your fellow students over the summer by connecting with Acorn Ecology on social media – ask to join the Certificate group on Facebook. Look for us (@AcornEcology) on Twitter

Acorn Ecology Fact Sheets

We have a number of useful fact sheets on protected species that you can download here:Combined Introductory and Advanced Courses, ecology courses

Badger ecology, conservation and surveying

Bat ecology, conservation and surveying

Beginners Botany fact sheet

Dormouse ecology, conservation and surveying

Great Crested Newt ecology, conservation and surveying


Japanese Knotweed fact sheet

Nesting birds

Otter ecology, conservation and surveying

Phase 1 Habitat Surveys

Reptile ecology, conservation and surveying

Water vole ecology, conservation and surveying

Wildlife Law

Course Modules

Invasive Species course

Invasive Species – Module 1 – What is an invasive species

Invasive Species – Module 2 – Impacts of invasive species

Invasive Species – Module 3 – International treaties, strategies and the law

Invasive Species – Module 4 – Plants

Invasive Species – Module 5 – Plants Japanese Knotweed

Invasive Species – Module 6 – Plants, the others

Invasive Species – Module 7 – Top 10 Worldwide

Invasive Species – Module 8 – Animals (UK)

Invasive Species – Module 9 Animals, the others

Invasive species – End of course quiz

Assignment information

Assignment 1 – Deadline is 13th May 2019

Assignment 2 – Deadline is 5th August 2019

Assignment 3 – Deadline is 23rd September 2019

Marking criteria for assignments

Core Week Presentations

Phase 1 Habitat Surveys


British Reptiles

Hazel Dormice


Other Protected Species

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Day 1

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Day 2

Botany Tutorial

Designated Sites Tutorial

Wildlife Law Tutorial

Self Study Tutorials

Bird Identification


Mammal ID

Reptile and Amphibian ID