FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

How to Use Plant Identification Keys (The Regent's Park)

  • Location: London
  • Tutor: Mark Spencer
  • Date: Saturday 19 May 2018
  • Times: 10:00 - 16:00
  • Level: Beginners

Course Details

Do you feel embarrassed when you use picture guides to identify wild plants? Don’t, they are really useful! However, to get the most out of botanising, learning how to use keys is an essential tool. This course will take the fear out of ‘keying out’. Participants will be introduced to a range of different keys and their strengths and weaknesses will be explored. Guidance will also be given on how to use hand lenses. The group will also practice on plant material in the classroom and around the park. Based in The Regent's Park.

About the Tutor:

Dr Mark Spencer is an experienced botanist and is the vascular plant recorder for the LNHS and BSBI Middlesex vice-county recorder. He has research and personal interest in 17th & 18th century botanical science, urban botany, non-natives and the impacts of environmental change.


  • 0930 Registration
  • 1000 Welcome, Health and Safety & Introduction
  • 1015 Morning session
  • 1300 Lunch
  • 1330 Afternoon session
  • 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

If you have them:

  • Your favourite botany field guide
  • hand lens

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 Park Offices, Inner Circle, The Regent's Park  https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-there

FSC in The Regent's Park:

FSC has been working in partnership with The Royal Parks to deliver courses since 2011. In The Regent's Park, we use facilities within the Park Offices to deliver courses, including classroom space, toilet facilities and refreshments. Most of our courses use sites across the Park allowing you to experience the diversity of habitats in this stunning Park. The Regent's Park, designed by John Nash, covers 395 acres and includes Queen Mary's Gardens which features more than 12,000 roses of 400 varieties, as well as the gloriously restored William Andrews Nesfield's Avenue Gardens. With excellent sports facilities spanning nearly 100 acres it includes the largest outdoor sports area in central London. The park also houses the Open Air Theatre, London Zoo, Primrose Hill, the country's largest free to access waterfowl collection and 100 species of wild bird.

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