Field Ecology of Temperate Environments - WCON5100

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This is a field-based module designed to provide students with first-hand experience of ecological processes, biodiversity and conservation issues associated with temperate environments. The British Isles support a variety of temperate ecosystems, which are often highly managed and compete for space with growing urbanisation and agricultural development. Many of the trade-offs between development and conservation can therefore be critically explored here in the UK. Topics to be covered in the curriculum include:

• Ecological management of key temperate habitats
• Practical training in ecological techniques and survey methods for a range of taxonomic groups
• Anthropogenic factors affecting protected and rare species in the UK
• Species recovery, restoration and/or rewilding programmes in the UK

Students will spend time working on ecological questions in temperate habitats, with an emphasis on practical training in ecological survey and assessment methods. Teaching on conservation will be integrated to gain direct appreciation of the issues, problems and solutions surrounding wildlife in temperate systems.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 40
Private study hours: 110
Total study hours: 150


Pre-requisite: WCON5390 Applied Ecology and Conservation
Optional for: BSc. Wildlife Conservation (and cognate courses)

Method of assessment

Written Assignment 2,500 words 50%
Poster 50%

Reassessment method
Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Begon, M., Townsend, C.R. and Harper, J.L. (2005) Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems. 4th Ed. Blackwells.

Gaston, K.J. and Spicer, J.I. 2004 Biodiversity: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing.

Howell, E. (2012) Introduction to restoration ecology. Island Press

Sinclair, A.R.E. (2006) Wildlife ecology, conservation, and management. Blackwell.

Sutherland, W, J. (2006) Ecological Census Techniques. Cambridge University Press

Tree, I. 2018. Wilding. Picador

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Apply principles in population and community ecology to key landscape management and conservation questions.
8.2 Understand the characteristics and ecological processes that define temperate ecosystems and their wildlife.
8.3 Gain theoretical and direct experience of the major conservation issues surrounding temperate ecosystems, particularly in Europe.
8.4 Critically evaluate the concept of restoration and rewilding.
8.5 Apply practical and analytical skills concerning ecological survey techniques and assessment methods for a range of temperate biota.

9.1 Make effective use of information sources.
9.2 Communicate succinctly the subject matter of practical tasks in group-based activities.
9.3 Understand and explain the theoretical, technical or applied dimensions of a problem.
9.4 Work independently, manage their own learning and development, including time management and organisational skills.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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