About the event
It is proven that gardening is good for your health. But do you know the best ways to ensure that it is beneficial to the wildlife near you?
Join us for a practical day in our beautiful wildlife garden at the Bay Pond Educational Nature Reserve and discover a variety of techniques that will encourage the local species to visit you. We will look at different plantings to entice pollinating insects and learn how to deter unwanted pests naturally. Discover ways to make your entire garden a sensory feast.
Delegates on this course will receive a FREE Wildlife Gardening Information pack (RRP £5), a FREE Gardening without Harmful Invasive Plants Guide compiled jointly by Plantlife and the Royal Horticultural Society as well as The Wildlife Trusts' Guide to Wildlife Gardening brochure.
Tutor - 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).