Insects of Oxfordshire


Insects are the most diverse group of animals with insects present in all habitats on Earth, including in our homes and cities. They play a vital role in our ecosystems as prey, predators and pollinators.

Unfortunately, the world (including the UK), is currently witnessing a rapid decline in their numbers, and a better understanding of their vital roles and fascinating life histories is essential for garnering more support for conservation actions.

To start, we will first get a comprehensive overview of the biology and diversity of insects including the threats facing them followed by a discussion on some of the many ways that insects benefits us including as pollinators, as predators of natural pests and as food for us and our livestock. We finish with a talk on some of the many fascinating insect species we can find in Oxfordshire.

In the afternoon the day becomes practical, first with a brief visit to the Oxford Museum of Natural History to learn more about their insect collection before we collect insects in the University Parks ourselves to learn more about common survey techniques and identify some common garden and parkland insects.

Please note: this event will close to enrolments at 23:59 BST on 29 May 2024.

Programme details

Registration at Rewley House reception

Diversity and biology of insects
Lorenzo Santorelli

Tea/coffee break

How insects benefit society 
Thomas Hesselberg

Notable insects of Oxfordshire 
Lawrence Bee

Lunch break and walk to the museum

Visit to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History
All speakers

Techniques for surveying insects, Oxford University Parks
All speakers

End of day


Description Costs
Course Fee (includes tea/coffee) £99.00
Baguette Lunch £6.50
Hot Lunch (3 courses) £17.60


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Mr Lawrence Bee


Lawrence is an independent ecological and environmental education consultant. He has worked in the natural environment for over 30 years and has developed a varied experience as an all-round field naturalist through extensive practical, hands-on work in the field of ecology and nature conservation.

He has provided practical environmental education activities to the primary sector - most recently Rocks and Fossils workshops in Oxfordshire - to secondary and undergraduate students and to adults. He is a Council Member of the British Arachnological Society and executive member of the Oxfordshire Geology Trust. He regularly lectures on British spiders and ancient trees and woodland and leads training workshops on spider identification, plant gall identification and invertebrate survey techniques.

His particular interests include British geology, ancient trees and oak woodland, spiders, moths and plant galls: he wrote the Field Studies Council ID chart – ‘A Guide to House and Garden Spiders’, is currently writing chapters for a forthcoming book on Shotover and is the lead author on a forthcoming photographic field guide to British spiders.

Dr Lorenzo Santorelli


Dr Lorenzo Santorelli is an entomologist and evolutionary biologist. His research has been focused on the genetic origins of social behaviours in insects and other organisms. He has previously taught at the University of Oxford and Reading, and he is currently a senior lecturer in zoology at the University of Surrey, where he also leads the Biological Sciences programme.

Dr Thomas Hesselberg

Speaker and Director of Studies

Thomas is a zoologist who has studied spiders, insects and worms for more than 15 years in both temperate and tropical climates. In addition to his teaching for the Department for Continuing Education, he is a lecturer in biological sciences at St. Anne's College.


Please use the 'Book' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.


Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then please contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and discounted prices.