Our river survey for the summer of 2016 has come to a close, however please keep sending in records to surveys@worcestershiremammals.org. We’re busy planning the next event, details to be sent via email to members soon. If you’re not on the list you can join on the Get Involved page.

Once you’ve read about what to look for and chosen a hectad its time to go see what you can find.

Safety first

Safety is paramount when surveying around water, so we recommend that members take a friend, partner or other mammal enthusiast to minimise the risks, or if you do go alone be sure to let someone know where you’re going and how long you’ll be. Walking poles are very useful for maintaining stability in moving water and testing the depth of water before any potential forays into streams or brooks. Areas with public rights of way tend to be safer, and we advise against surveying on private land without the landowners’ permission.

What to take

In addition to walking poles, we recommend that members take a field guide or print out of mammal footprints and droppings for identification, a pair of binoculars for surveying harder-to-reach places before attempting a close up view, a camera or smartphone for taking pictures of signs, and a notebook for recording whats found. Other potentially useful equipment are a ruler and magnifying glass to aid with identification in the field. Including a ruler or other common-sized object such as a coin in any photos can help aid identification later.

Tell us what you did (or didn’t) find

All records are important, including negative ones, so we’re keen for members to let us know what they did or didn’t find when out surveying. We’ve created a template spreadsheet for records and are happy to receive them after each trip or all together once the relevant areas of a hectad have been covered. Just email them, along with any photos, to surveys@worcestershiremammals.org and include the following:

  • Date of survey
  • Location (grid reference, postcode or placename)
  • Nature of sightings (e.g. live, droppings, signs or nothing)
  • If sending a photo, try to include a ruler or other common-sized object like a coin in the shot to aid identification
  • Any notes or comments related to the sighting