FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Discover Veteran Trees (Greenwich Park)

  • Location: London
  • Tutor: Sharon Brown
  • Date: Saturday 23 June 2018
  • Times: 10:00 - 16:00
  • Level: Open for Everyone

Course Details

This important historic parkland of Greenwich Park, much of it on steep slopes giving stunning views across the Thames estuary (in good weather), is also the setting for an array of veteran trees. We will survey their ecology and importance as a habitat and look at the development of the parkland within its landscape.

In the morning we will look at the ecological landscape history of Greenwich Park, within its geographical setting, its early development as a Park and on through to its use and value to us today. We will then discuss the assessment of Veteran Trees for their wildlife value, before going outside and trying out our skills. During the afternoon we will go out into the Park again to assess more of the Veteran trees. Back in the classroom for our last session, we will collate the data from our different groups, creating a chart of our findings and mapping the location of our surveyed trees.

Course fee includes a copy of the FSC fold out chart: Tree Name Trail.

About the Tutor:

Sharon Brown is a botanist – geographer currently working as an independent ecologist with habitat assessment and management as a main area of expertise. Over time she has also worked for the Nature Conservancy Council, Scottish Rangering, Wildlife Trusts and latterly as an associate tutor for the FSC. As a naturalist she has a fascination for wild places, as well as the wild in more urban settings and an enthusiasm for passing this to others through practical application.


  • 0930 Registration
  • 1000 Welcome, Health and Safety & Introduction
  • 1015 Introduction to Greenwich Park from the viewpoint of historical ecology
  • 1045 Introduction to Veteran tree survey.
  • 1100 Break
  • 1115 Continuing intro. to Veteran Tree Survey
  • 1145 Practical tree survey, session 1
  • 1300 Lunch
  • 1330 Practical tree survey, session 2, and walk to view the Park in its ecological setting
  • 1515 Collating tree survey data and Resumé of day
  • 1550 Taking your interest further and Course Reviews
  • 1600 Course finishes

Disclaimer - All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may be subject to change according to the weather, requirements of the group or access restrictions to field sites on the day of the course.

What to bring:

  • Lunch and plenty to drink
  • Suitable clothing & footwear, waterproofs or sun cream as appropriate!
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Small bag to carry personal items
  • Binoculars

Health and Safety:

  • There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site.
  • If you have special medical requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Meeting point / Location:

The Wildlife Centre, Blackheath Gate, Greenwich Park.   https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-here

FSC in Greenwich Park:

FSC has been working in partnership with The Royal Parks to deliver courses since 2011. In Greenwich Park, our education Centre has one classroom, toilet facilities, a small kitchen and office space. Alongside this is a small area of the Park for education use, not usually open to members of the public, with a small woodland areas, nature trail and two ponds. Most of our courses use sites across the Park allowing you to experience the diversity of habitats in this stunning Park. Greenwich Park hosts the Prime Meridian Line and Royal Observatory as well as being part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site which is home to The National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College. The most historic of all Royal Parks, Greenwich Park dates back to Roman times and was enclosed in 1433. From the statue of General Wolfe the park offers imperious views across the River Thames all the way to St. Pauls Cathedral.

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