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2014 Wildlife Training Workshops Discover more about natural history and the varied wildlife and habitats of Bedfordshire, Ca mbridgeshire and Northa mptonshire


Lower Plants

Invertebrates

Lichens on Trees, Walls and Stonework

An Introduction to Soldierflies and their Wider Allies

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Lichens are among the best indicators of air quality and can help indicate the conservation value of many habitats. There is currently a spectacular re-colonisation of lichens in our region following the decline in atmospheric sulphur dioxide levels. The situation is complicated by the increasing influence of compounds of nitrogen and climate change. The identification of lichen species is not easy but with little more than a hand lens any interested naturalist can soon be contributing useful information to this fascinating field of study. This workshop will provide an introduction to all the skills required from using keys to microscopy and simple chemical tests. The crusts growing on stonework are often considered to be more difficult to identify than the lichens on trees, but they are important in evaluating the conservation importance of built structures. By the end of the day some of the more conspicuous lichens on walls should be familiar including a common but, as yet, undescribed species. Date(s): Saturday 8 March 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Priory Country Park Trainer(s): Mark Powell

Introduction to Mosses and Liverworts N

Mosses and liverworts are beautiful little plants which deserve close examination.  This course will help you to appreciate their fine detail, and to use your observations to identify different species.  We will use hand lenses for field identification, and also spend time examining a range of species with microscopes.  Both beginners and improvers are welcome. Date(s): Saturday 29 March 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Old Sulehay Trainer(s): Rachel Carter

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Fungi and Foray

Cover image by Tom Marshall

The indoor session will include an illustrated talk on fungi and their biology. During the field trip specimens will be collected and identified and fungi habitats will be examined. Date(s): Saturday 4 October 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Gamlingay Wood Trainer(s): Peter Walker

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This indoor workshop is designed to enable participants to recognise members of the Brachycera, including those species covered by Alan Stubbs’ book ‘Soldierflies and their allies’. It will make sure that participants understand how to arrive at this group of flies and will also explore some of the other families that make up the Brachycera, including the Empidoidea, thus providing an initial introduction to a large group of species for whom there are good keys and active recording schemes. 2 days for £55 Date(s): Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Ring Haw Field Station, Old Sulehay Trainer(s): Roger Morris and Stuart Ball

The Hidden World of the Cow Pat B

This workshop will detail the ecology and the importance of the true dung beetles (Scarabaeidae). The indoor session will cover identification using the Royal Entomological Society key (which will be provided to participants on the day) and microscopes. Also covered will be collection methods, how to produce a reference collection and why, where to send records, and further sources of information.  Note that this workshop will involve contact with cow dung and the killing of some specimens. Participants should have some familiarity with using dichotomous identification keys. Date(s): Sunday 8 June 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Flitwick Moor Trainer(s): Nancy Reed

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Solitary Bees and Wasps Masterclass

Dragonfly Larvae Identification for Beginners

This workshop will be loosely structured so the day can be tailored to specific needs of the participants. It will be based on the use of projected microscopy of specimens to identify critical body features as used in available keys.  A draft key to genera written by the tutor will be “tested” during the day.

The aim of this course is for participants to identify dragonfly larvae to genus and understand the basic steps of keying out to species. This will consist of the Microscope-TV link, one-to-one guidance, selfstudy periods and, dependent on the weather, a hunt for larvae/exuviae – PLEASE BOOK THROUGH THE BRITISH DRAGONFLY SOCIETY. Date(s): Sunday 15 June 2014 Timings: 10am – 5pm Venue: Wicken Fen Trainer(s): Henry Curry and Henry Stanier

Date(s): Saturday 15 March 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Cambourne Trainer(s): Adrian Knowles

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Identification of Butterflies

Participants on this workshop will learn how to identify different butterfly species, their specific habitat requirements, behaviour and life cycles, and the importance of management and monitoring on a site. A field visit will show how to identify the species present. Date(s): Saturday 24 May 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Twywell Hills and Dales Trainer(s): Doug Goddard Image by Paul Hobson

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Bug Hunting for Adults

The world around us is teeming with animal life – much of it insects! Come and learn more about the collection, identification, behaviour and conservation of this important group. This workshop will introduce you to the diversity of insects, explain how to identify major groups and a selection of common species, and introduce you to methods that can be used to study insects in the countryside or even in your own back garden. We will discuss why insects are important and ways that habitats can be managed to benefit insects. Date(s): Saturday 21 June 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Gamlingay Wood Trainer(s): Ed Turner

More information on wildlife training workshops can be found at www.wildlifebcn.org


Dragonflies and Damselflies: Identification, habitats and breeding N

This course will introduce participants to the fascinating world of dragonflies and damselflies, their favoured habitats and the importance of establishing breeding. We will focus on species commonly found in Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire and the best habitat types. These beautiful insects are easy to observe, but can be confusing to identify. Combining an indoor presentation with an outdoor session at the exciting new reserve of Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows, participants will learn key skills to identify insects to species, understand their lifecycle and key habitat management requirements. Date(s): Saturday 5 July 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows Trainer(s): Mark Tyrrell

Adult Dragonflies and their Habitat for Beginners C

The aim of this course is for participants to identify common species of adult dragonflies and water plants. There will be sessions using colour photo presentations and water plant collections, microscope-TV link, one-to-one guidance and a field tour of adult dragonfly and water plant habitats – PLEASE BOOK THROUGH THE BRITISH DRAGONFLY SOCIETY. Date(s): Saturday 5 July 2014 Timings: 10am – 5pm Venue: Wicken Fen Trainer(s): Stuart Irons and Karen Buckley

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Introducing the Dragonfly

Specifically designed for the beginner, this very popular course includes dragonfly biology, ecology and identification, and a field tour of dragonfly habitats on site – PLEASE BOOK THROUGH THE BRITISH DRAGONFLY SOCIETY. Date(s): Saturday 26 July 2014 Timings: 10am – 5pm Venue: Wicken Fen Trainer(s): Henry Curry

Dragonfly Larvae Identification – Advanced C

The aim of this course is for participants to further their dragonfly larva ID skills and gain a deeper understanding of the anatomy, physiology and ecology of this important stage in the life-cycle. The course consists of classroom work, one-to-one guidance and fieldwork looking at habitats, larvae, and exuviae – PLEASE BOOK THROUGH THE BRITISH DRAGONFLY SOCIETY. Date(s): Sunday 27 July 2014 Timings: 10am – 5pm Venue: Wicken Fen Trainer(s): Henry Curry and Henry Stanier

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Identification of Grasshoppers and Bushcrickets B

The 20 or so local species are almost all easy to identify and, by the end of the course, people should be able to recognise all of them by sight and many by sound. Ideal insects for monitoring they help to indicate several aspects of vegetation structure and management. They are an important part of the fauna of calcareous grassland, heathland and open, early successional habitats. Date(s): Sunday 7 September 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Cooper’s Hill Trainer(s): Brian Eversham

Introducing the Dragonfly

Specifically designed for the beginner, this very popular course includes dragonfly biology, ecology and identification, and a field tour of dragonfly habitats on site – PLEASE BOOK THROUGH THE BRITISH DRAGONFLY SOCIETY. Date(s): Saturday 23 August 2014 Timings: 10am – 5pm Venue: Wicken Fen Trainer(s): Henry Curry

Ecology and Identification of Ladybirds B

Come and learn to identify Britain’s 26 ladybird species and hear about the ecology of these fascinating beetles. The workshop will consist of a talk, light fieldwork and close-up examination of ladybirds indoors. The session should equip you to carry out ladybird surveys independently and to identify your finds with confidence. Date(s): Sunday 31 August 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Cooper’s Hill Trainer(s): Peter Brown Image by Brian Eversham

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Pond Dipping for Adults

Dipping in pools with a net is a well-known activity for children. But it need not be an activity exclusively practised by children. This course will take the “simple” a step further, by introducing participants to techniques for pond assessment and providing a crash-course in identification of pond macro-invertebrates to species level. Date(s): Saturday 27 September 2013 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Ramsey Heights Trainer(s): Richard Chadd

Slugs and Snails II – Next steps in mollusc identification N

Everyone recognises slugs and snails as a group. They are among the most important decomposer organisms. Because most species are very poor dispersers, they are also excellent indicators of ancient woodland, grassland and wetland habitats. Almost all species can be reliably identified in the field with a hand-lens, and most with the naked eye. This workshop is intended for people who have attended an introductory workshop or who have a little experience with these groups. Date(s): Saturday 22 November 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Old Sulehay Trainer(s): Brian Eversham

More information on wildlife training workshops can be found at www.wildlifebcn.org


Botany

Vertebrates

Identifying Sedges and their C Introduction to Grass Allies Identification

Introduction to Wetland Birds

Many naturalists and gardeners divide the plant world into flowers and “the rest”, including grasses, sedges and rushes – the so-called “Graminoid Monocots”. Amongst these, sedges can be confounded with grasses and/or rushes, but represent distinct groups with little other than their small brownish flowers and narrow leaves to unite them.

This workshop will concentrate on birds which use wetland environments. The indoor session will detail the way in which birds have adapted to wetland habitats and how this has determined their shapes and behaviour. Most of the day will be spent in the field at Summer Leys nature reserve looking at the birds and how they use this beautiful nature reserve.

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In the wetter places in the British landscape (moors, marshes, bogs, fens, swamps etc), sedges are often dominant, and in the north, they are amongst the most diverse of plant families. In this workshop, the field-marks that separate sedges from rushes and grasses, and from each other will be described, together with an outline of the major British groups and species. The classroom session will be complemented by a look at Carex species in the local region and especially in woods and wetlands. Date(s): Sunday 8 June 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Monks Wood Trainer: Owen Mountford

Identification of Buttercups and Roses N

This workshop will aim to get participants familiar with a representative range of species within these two important plant families, the ranunculaceae and the rosaceae. Emphasis will be placed on recognition of a plant’s family before progressing to genus then species level. Suitable for beginners, although a prior knowledge of basic botanical terminology will be assumed. Date(s): Saturday 14 June 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Old Sulehay Trainer(s): Neil Crossman

Identification and Ecology of Aquatic Plants C

Aquatic plants are notoriously difficult to identify, partly because the same species can be so variable in morphology due to depth and flow. This course will focus on floating, submerged and emergent species typical of lowland eastern England, but will take account of those emergent species that may be present only in floating or submerged forms.

The aim of this workshop is to be able to identify common grasses in the field using basic characteristics.  Participants will be encouraged and helped to use keys and books in the classroom for some of the grasses collected. Date(s): Sunday 13 July 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Ramsey Heights/Woodwalton Fen Trainer: Brian Davis

Introduction to Wildflower Identification II N

This workshop is intended for people who have attended an introductory workshop or who have a little experience with these groups, but would like to practice more in using identification keys, and getting to know the essentials of flower anatomy.  By the end of the workshop, participants should be more confident in using identification keys and other resources such as floras, and in working out what we can recognise, and which species need a more detailed approach. Date(s): Saturday 26 July 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Old Sulehay Trainer: Brian Eversham

Identification of Ferns and Horsetails N

Many ferns are largely confined to the wetter northern and western parts of the country and are on the edge of their range in our area; they are therefore good indicators of climate change. The relatively small number of species occurring locally should easily be covered in a single day, and can be identified in the field with the naked eye or a hand lens. Date(s): Saturday 13 September 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Old Sulehay Trainer: Brian Eversham

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Date(s): Saturday 15 February 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Summer Leys local nature reserve Trainer(s): Paul Gosling

Natural History of the Water Vole C

A workshop to introduce participants to the natural history and field signs of the water vole.  What caused their decline and what can be done about it? Includes a field visit to look for evidence of water vole activity in the Cambourne/Cambridge area and information on how to conduct surveys. Date(s): Saturday 5 April 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Cambourne Trainer(s): Iain Webb and Ruth Hawksley

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Introduction to Amphibians

The workshop will cover the identification, life histories and habitats of our native amphibians and surveying for the protected great crested newt including health and safety and legislation. Participants will gain experience in assessing habitats and surveying for great crested newts on this former brickyard. Date(s): Saturday 12 April 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Ramsey Heights Trainer(s): Helen and Terry Moore Image by Henry Stanier

Date(s): Saturday 12 July 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Ramsey Heights Trainer(s): Owen Mountford

More information on wildlife training workshops can be found at www.wildlifebcn.org


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This workshop will highlight the sorts of mammal tracks and signs that you might come across when out in the countryside. ‘Tracks’ could include those of the larger mammals like badgers, foxes, otters and deer, but will hopefully include the smaller mammals like hedgehogs and water voles – all may depend on the weather. ‘Signs’ can be a very wide variety of things, including droppings, hair, fur, feeding signs (like holes in nuts and gnawed fir cones and tree bark) and ‘homes’ including badger setts and water vole burrows. Date(s): Sunday 13 April 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Ramsey Heights Trainer(s): Peter Pilbeam

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Warbler Identification

This workshop aims at helping participants to identify our warblers by voice and plumage. It will start with an indoor session where we will listen to warbler songs and look at key features of warblers, to be followed by a walk testing our skills in the field. This workshop is open for beginners and those who want to improve existing identification skills alike. Date(s): Saturday 26 April 2014 Timings: 7am – 12pm Venue: Grafham Water? Trainer(s): Tony Fulford

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only £25

An Introduction to Reptiles

This workshop will introduce participants to the identification of reptiles in the field, demonstrate where to look for them and how to encourage them to occupy favourable habitats. It is hoped that participants will come to appreciate and understand them rather than fear them. Date(s): Saturday 3 May 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Stockgrove Country Park and Rammamere Heath Trainer(s): Helen Muir-Howie and Matt Andrews Image by Jamie Hall

Image by Brian Eversham

Mammal Tracks and Signs

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Introduction to Dormice

This workshop is aimed to give a good background introduction to people who wish to learn about dormouse monitoring. We will also cover the natural history of dormice and examples of monitoring projects including the first re-introduction project in the country at Brampton Wood. In the afternoon there will be a visit to Old Sulehay and the surrounding area to check dormouse boxes (this does not guarantee a sighting of a dormouse).

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First Steps with Birdsong

You may already know some bird calls (cuckoo, chiffchaff). Would you like to expand the range of common birds you can recognise by song or call? This series will give you pointers and tips on how to recognise birds by song and call and give your birdwatching a whole new dimension. This is a series of four sessions with a mix of indoor and outdoor activities and presentations. Whole series £45 Date(s) and timings: Saturday 10 May 2014 – 8am – 12pm Thursday 15 May 2014 – 7pm – 9pm Saturday 24 May 2014 – 8am – 12pm Thursday 29 May 2014 – 7pm – 9pm Venue: Lings and a visit to Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows Trainer(s): Paul Gosling

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Beginning with Birdsong

This two day workshop is aimed to give a good background to people who wish to learn about identifying birds by their songs. We will make a number of visits to the woods and other habitats in and around Cambourne to practice listening and identifying birds in addition to indoor sessions. Suitable for complete beginners and people wishing to refresh or develop their skills. 2 days for £45 Date(s): Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm and 8am – 2pm Venue: Cambourne Trainer(s): Henry Stanier and Christine Donnelly

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An Introduction to the Otter

Date(s): Saturday 2 August 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Old Sulehay Trainer(s): Paul Manchester and Henry Stanier

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Beginning with Bats

Explore the natural history of bats; what they are and where they are, their place in the world and how they live in it. Includes an evening guided walk to detect and observe local species and gain experience in using ultrasound detectors to “listen” to bat echolocation. Date(s): Saturday 9 August 2014 Timings: 5pm – 10.30pm Venue: Cambourne Trainer(s): Henry Stanier and Christine Donnelly

Small Mammals – identification and survey C

Capture and identification of small mammals will be demonstrated in this workshop along with a range of related aspects of work on small mammals. The evening session will be used to set a variety of small mammal traps and the early start is to see what’s been caught overnight – the welfare of any trapped animal is of paramount importance. There will be a session on British mammals in general, methods of study (including owl pellet analysis) and on small mammal surveying. Date(s) and timings: Saturday 4 October 2014 (5pm – 6.30pm) Sunday 5 October 2014 (8am – 1pm) Venue: Paxton Pits Trainer(s): Peter Pilbeam

This is an introduction to the European Otter, its biology, ecology, protection and conservation.  Learn where, when and how to survey for them and how to distinguish their field signs; also, once you know where they are, a few tips on seeing one alive! Date(s): Sunday 22 June 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Paxton Pits Trainer(s): Richard Lawrence

More information on wildlife training workshops can be found at www.wildlifebcn.org


Practical Skills C

Hedgelaying Weekend

Hedgelaying maintains the density and structure of hedgerows thereby benefiting both the hedge and the plants and creatures that depend on it.  This practical workshop is suitable both for beginners and for those wishing to improve or revive existing skills. 2 days for £55 Date(s) and timings: Saturday 25 January 2014 (10am – 4pm) Sunday 26 January 2014 (10am – 4pm) Venue: Grafham Water Trainer(s): Aidan Matthews and Greg Belcher

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Charcoal Making

Discover the process of producing lumpwood charcoal. Examine the history of charcoal use and production. Learn how this process affected the landscape and preserved the existence of our ancient woodland blocks. Get hands on with the work of preparing, loading, firing and sealing a 1.8m charcoal ring kiln and learn how to make your own charcoal in an oil barrel. Discuss the opening of the kiln, bagging and marketing of the lumpwood charcoal to the local community. Date(s): Sunday 11 May 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Grafham Water Trainer(s): Aidan Matthews and Greg Belcher

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Habitats and Management

Coppicing Weekend

Coppicing is a traditional woodland management technique that provides a diversity of woodland habitats that benefits a rich diversity of wildlife. This two-day coppicing course will be a practical introduction to coppicing for both conservation and coppice products. Aspects covered on the course will include habitats and conservation, health and safety, practical coppicing, coppice products and lots more. 2 days for £55 Date(s): Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 October 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Hayley Wood Trainer(s): Mark Ricketts and Patrick Brown

The Natural Selection – A guide to creating wildlifefriendly gardens N

Discover how to plan, implement and maintain a wildlife-friendly garden that looks fantastic while enhancing the lives of the creatures who visit.  The day will be hosted by designer Joe Francis (of Outer Space Gardens) and is packed full of exciting ideas that can be applied to any garden project in time for the summer months ahead. Date(s): Saturday 22 February 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Northampton Trainer(s): Joe Francis (Outer Space Gardens)

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An Introduction to Coppicing

Managing Churchyards for Wildlife

This workshop is a practical introduction to coppicing. The day will be spent at the wood looking at coppicing, layering and ride-widening and how these activities can benefit the flora and fauna of the wood.

This workshop will cover the importance of churchyards for wildlife and what you can do to enhance yours. This will include handy tips, a practical session, questions and answers and a site visit to St Marys, in Bozeat.

Date(s): Sunday 14 December 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Short Wood Trainer(s): Stuart Baker and Paul Trevor

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Date(s): Saturday 10 May 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Bozeat Trainer(s): Matt Johnson, Judith Line and Lisa Rowley

Image by Aidan Matthews

Beginning with Landscape: Geology C

An exploration of the ways in which landscapes are formed and the effect that their character has on their consequent wildlife biodiversity. Although the focus will be on local landscapes, the general links between geology and wildlife worldwide will be covered briefly. Includes a look at the formation of the underlying rocks and landforms, as well as examples of rock types. only £18 Date(s): Thursday 6 and Thursday 13 November 2014 Timings: 7pm – 9pm Venue: Cambourne Trainer(s): Christine Donnelly

More information on wildlife training workshops can be found at www.wildlifebcn.org


Short Cuts to Species Identification N

Conservationists, ecologists and naturalists all need to name species; and being able to do so adds hugely to the fun of a walk in the countryside. But at first, it may seem a daunting task. This workshop offers ‘short-cuts’ to identification of plants and animals: which groups to look for in which habitat; what books to use; why knowing 10% of the species can be a breakthrough – if it’s the right 10%; recognition versus identification; translating keys into plain English; knowing which species to expect; making the most of a collection. Examples will be taken from a wide range of plants and animals, and the skills should be applicable to almost any group of organisms. Date(s): Sunday 9 March 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Lings Trainer(s): Brian Eversham

New for 2014

Image by Brian Eversham

Looking, Seeing, Drawing – workshop with local artist Carry Akroyd N

This workshop will be an intense day of experimenting with different approaches to drawing, using the surrounding reserve as inspiration.  Using drawing as the foundation of visual art, thinking, analysing and gathering outdoor observation material for further use indoors. Note that this workshop is chargeable to all participants, including volunteers. only £60 Date(s): Saturday 7 June 2014 Timings: 10am – 4pm Venue: Ring Haw Field Station, Old Sulehay Trainer(s): Carry Akroyd

Image by Carry Akroyd

More information on wildlife training workshops can be found at www.wildlifebcn.org


Wildlife Trust training doc 2014  
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