WiSe Master Class

WiSe Master Class March 8th 2014

A couple of years ago I completed a WiSe, Wildlife Safe, course with Colin Speedie of wisescheme.org. It was a very informative day. As well as relaying the relevant safety information, we learnt some basics about animal behaviour. We were now offered the chance of taking part in the WiSe Master course. Experts from several fields had been invited, it seemed too good to miss.

The morning started off with a welcome and introduction from Colin Speedie.

The first talk was from PC Del Allerton-Baldwin, Del is a Wildlife crime officer, he covered “Wildlife Law and you”. There is a lot of law regarding the disturbance of wildlife, not just on the water either. Dr Matthew Witt was next, his talk was about Basking Sharks. He covered some of their recent research regarding Basking Shark movements, from tagged sharks. Matthew passed around some of the used tags which would cost up to £10,000. Brendan Godley was next with his talk on Marine Turtles. We do get a lot of visitors as shown by Matthew Witt’s work, that he did for his phd.

A short break for refreshments and a quick catch up with some of the other people on the course.

Peter Evans then did a talk on Cetaceans. A lot of information was being sent our way, it was getting hard to absorb it all. Then came Paul St Pierre from the RSPB, talking about Sea and coastal bird life. Not my subject but there’s a lot of birds out there.

1300 – 1330 was Lunch. A good chance for our brains to have a rest.

Powell Strong couldn’t make it for his talk on Seals in Pembrokeshire. Sue Sayer from the Cornwall Seal Group made up for whatever we may have missed though. Talking about Seals in Cornwall, some of the distances these seals travel, for no apparent reason is quite remarkable. Ruth Williams rounded up the day with a quick talk about the wildlife trusts etc. Colin Speedie then rounded up the day with thanks to all involved. There was no time for a final Q & A of the experts, I think we had done that during the talks.

There was so much information given in such a short space of time. It was well worth the time but hard to absorb it all. Luckily all the information is to be made available to us through the wisescheme.org website.

Well done Colin.