FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Customer Reviews

Feedback from attendees on Natural History courses

Average Customer Review:

4 out of 5   424 reviews



Arable Weeds - Identification of Plants and Arable Fields at Preston Montford, starting June 15, 2017

Great course - just wish it could have been longer!


Wild Orchids of South East England 2 at Juniper Hall, starting June 11, 2017

Great habitats chosen for today - a visit by minibus to a bog/ Heath. The leader was enthusiastic and made the day so enjoyable, guiding around the area and talking about many other types of flowers, plants and trees as well as dragon flies and birds. The day exceeded my expectation and has made me much more observant about the surrounding countryside and what it may contain. Even a traffic jam on the M25 passed quickly with identifying the flora on the motorway verges.


Wild Orchids of South East England 2 at Juniper Hall, starting June 11, 2017

Wonderful weekend. Saw about 15 different orchids. Tutor excellent - a real expert and very patient and charming.


Wild Orchids of South East England 1 at Juniper Hall, starting June 10, 2017

A wonderful day led by an expert guide on wild orchids as well as other flora and fauna. The day was spent around Box Hill, the whole day being outside in the chosen habitats. Fantastic scenery and lots identified, including 11 different types of orchid. The day was unrushed and focussed on other wild flowers as well as orchids. The leader made learning much more pleasurable through his sense of humour and laid back approach. Brilliant course.


Field Identification of Common and Upland Grasses at Preston Montford, starting June 10, 2017

Excellent one day course on grasses. Very clear teaching and a good balance of laboratory and field activity. A most instructive and enjoyable day.


British Birds of Prey: Identification and Monitoring at Malham Tarn, starting June 09, 2017

very enjoyable course. Course leader was a good speaker and kept us entertained and interested even though we didn't see very many birds of prey. an evening walk on the day of arrival would have been a good addition.


Wild Flowers of the Yorkshire Dales at Malham Tarn, starting June 09, 2017

This course was excellent. The tutor new her stuff and value for money was excellent. The food was very good but the accommodation needs a rethink. Great to have good wifi but a mirror in the bath room and hooks on the back of the bathroom door would have been good. Duvet was too small for the bed.


Introduction to Grasses (The Poaceae) at Preston Montford, starting June 06, 2017


Introduction to Grasses (The Poaceae) at Preston Montford, starting June 06, 2017

Came to this course as a refresher on grasses, Mark has an approachable way of teaching and helps you pick out key diagnostic features in a memorable way. Would highly recommend.


Top 10 Plant Families at Preston Montford, starting June 03, 2017

Very helpful, very interesting. A shame it had to be rushed at the end. I am unclear why the samples were introduced in the order that they were as I felt that it introduced scope for confusion early on, but maybe this was inevitable irrespective of the order. Generally a very enjoyable and informative day. Thank you.


Top 10 Plant Families at Preston Montford, starting June 03, 2017

Absolutely fabulous course and tutor. Thank you.


BLS Introducing Lichens at Preston Montford, starting June 03, 2017

Very well led course, with just the right amount of information for the beginner. We walked away feeling like we had really learned something and with the confidence to start identifying lichens, without being completely baffled with new terminology and science! Catherine was pleasant and friendly and very approachable. Thoroughly enjoyable day.


Urban Wild Plants (The Regent's Park) at London, starting June 03, 2017

An excellent tutor - could not have enjoyed the day more. I would be glad if there were to be follow-up courses to continue developing these skills


Urban Wild Plants (The Regent's Park) at London, starting June 03, 2017

really interesting, I'm only a beginner but this was a great introduction


Introducing Grass Identification and Ecology at Flatford Mill, starting June 02, 2017

A really excellent course.


Introducing Grass Identification and Ecology at Flatford Mill, starting June 02, 2017

I wanted to get to grips with wild grasses in order to enable me to undertake habitat surveys for our local wildlife trust. The course surpassed my expectations. Flatford Mill is a lovely place to relax and learn. Out tutor Jonny Stone was a walking encyclopedia of information about the subject. He was very well prepared, passionate about his subject, no question seemed too stupid. He encouraged a range of learning styles including experiential, learning in pairs, use of microscope, lecture based. Lots of field work and repetition. A excellent group dynamic was created and it was fun. Following the course as a beginner I felt much more confident to ID common 30 grasses and also prepared to tackle some new ones. I look forward to attending further courses with the FSC.


Using a Flora at Preston Montford, starting May 31, 2017

The course did what it said on the tin, and provided a good introduction to using a Flora. My knowledge improved as a result of the course and the course is definitely recommended. There was a large amount of information to accumulate in a short space of time. the course could easily have been longer. Consequently a few minor criticisms 1) A few typos in the course notes 2) Dissecting plants and ID'ing them is best done in the lab rather than in the field, especially if damp and windy. However, you do need to know what features are important so they can be noted, or the whole plant collected. 3) Sufficient information on the course to get an easy 50%+ in the test at the end, but very difficult to get 100% without prior knowledge or a longer course


Learn to Love Spiders at Preston Montford, starting May 27, 2017

We had a great day - the experts were knowledgeable and interesting, and we had lots of fun as well as learning interesting facts about spiders, making our own spi-pots and going out to find spiders at the field centre. Many thanks - that's another field guide we need to buy now....


Beginners Moth Identification at Juniper Hall, starting May 26, 2017

I felt neither patronised nor overwhelmed by the tutor's sensitive approach to our group, none of whom had met before, but two also having been on a similar course. At first I wondered whether we would be worked hard enough, then whether I would be able to keep up, but there was a very supportive atmosphere. I enjoyed it, and learned lots!


Developing your Skills in Entomology at Juniper Hall, starting May 26, 2017

A thoroughly enjoyable, truly knock out weekend. The staff were super friendly and helpful. Martin Harvey, our 'expert' was fantastic. We were at it from first thing till well into the evenings and his patience never wavered. The food was great and the location was lovely. I've already booked up my next course with the FSC. Amazing value for money which is vital for low earners like myself who wouldn't otherwise be able to take part. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in invertebrates 🐝


Trees and Tree Identification in Summer at Flatford Mill, starting May 26, 2017

I very much Enjoyed the course, and Flatford Mill was amazing, its a great location and I would highly recommended to other travellers like my self who are visiting from outside the United Kingdom. Also I learned a great deal about trees and how environmental conservation is carried out in the United Kingdom. p.s the food was wonderful!! :)


Using a Flora at Preston Montford, starting May 24, 2017

Mark is one of the best tutors I have ever had - unbelievably patient and lets you get to the ID yourself with just the right amount of help.


Using a Flora at Preston Montford, starting May 24, 2017

Great course which really boosted my confidence. Lovely setting. Only suggestions are please dim the green night lights as they are far too bright and turn the shower temperature down.


BLS Introduction to Lichens at Malham Tarn, starting May 20, 2017

a very informative and interesting course. Excellent course leader.


Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 19, 2017

The course tutor was extremely well informed and prepared. The course delivered all that it promised. The only drawback with FSC courses is the food. Be prepared for school dinner stodge. In an effort to display green credentials, the quality and quantity of the cuisine is substandard. It is all presented with enthusiasm and the staff clearly enjoy working for FSC but I have attended 2 residentials and can begin to see a pattern, I believe. I would consider other companies with a higher all round customer satisfaction rating in the future.


Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 19, 2017


Winter Birdwatching Weekend at Flatford Mill, starting February 10, 2017

Good food and plenty of it! Accommodation very good. Staff friendly and helpful.


Light Microscopy for Botanists @ The Green Centre at Epping Forest, starting November 26, 2016

Intelligently designed day with expertly delivered tuition in a relaxed and patient atmosphere.


Mainly Migrants at Flatford Mill, starting October 21, 2016

Brilliant course! Steve Piotrowski was excellent: informative, helpful and fun, and he sure knows his stuff! I wished I could have stayed for longer. The food was fantastic and it was great fun staying in Willy Lott's cottage. Thanks for everything and I look forward to being back again for another bird-related course in the future.


Woodland Fungi of Epping Forest at Epping Forest, starting October 09, 2016

Really nice. Just what I was hoping for.


Identifying Fungi at Kindrogan, starting September 30, 2016

Course fantastic. Facilities less so.


Identifying Fungi at Kindrogan, starting September 23, 2016

A superb week. Liz Holden has an encyclopaedic knowledge and understanding of fungi and is a passionate communicator so I learnt a lot. The course was exceptionally well organised by her; each of us had two microscopes and a big desk to work on in the lab. Plenty of equipment to borrow and specialist books to browse. We also visited an excellent variety of habitat in the course of the week. Accommodation basic but clean. Young staff very affable. Food good and plentiful.


Identifying Fungi at Kindrogan, starting September 23, 2016

Excellent course as previously.


Identifying Trees in Leaf at Epping Forest, starting September 10, 2016

Excellent, engaging course, instructor very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, lunch and refreshments great! Only disappointment was that both our course certificates had the wrong names on, and when told we would receive correct certificates expected to receive them through the post, not to receive an email that needed to be printed - from an email address that could not be be responded to.


Autumn Moths at Flatford Mill, starting September 09, 2016

Intensive, widely varied course with an excellent tutor covering a range of identification techniques for both macro & micro moths including leaf-miners. Great for all levels of knowledge.


Identifying Lichens at Intermediate Level at Flatford Mill, starting August 26, 2016

A very enjoyable and informative course, particularly helpful as regards microscope techniques. Tutor was knowledgeable, patient and friendly. My only complaint - 2 days was too short! The accommodation at Flatford has much improved in recent years, while not compromising the charm of the place; we had a newly decorated en suite room with new bed linen and carpet.


Broad-Leaved Trees at Juniper Hall, starting August 26, 2016

A very well thought out course with plenty of field work. Very enjoyable. Ros is an excellent tutor. Location was excellent and the facilities and food good.


Broad-Leaved Trees at Juniper Hall, starting August 26, 2016

Fantastic! Just the right balance of classroom learning and exploration in the field - Ros is an excellent teacher : - )


Broad-Leaved Trees at Juniper Hall, starting August 26, 2016


Phase 1 Surveying at Orielton, starting August 20, 2016

Fantastic course, the tuition was excellent and I loved the fact we spent so much time in the field identifying types of phase 1 habitats. We covered a wide range of habitats considering the time constraints and they were quality examples. The Pembrokeshire coast and countryside were magnificent and Orielton Centre was great as was the food, don't think any of us will forget the bread and butter pudding in a hurry!


Highland Butterflies and Moths at Kindrogan, starting August 19, 2016

This was the first FSC course that i'd participated in so didn't really know what to expect. The tutor was great, very very knowledgeable and he kept us busy for the duration of the course. There was a wide variety of people on the course - from beginners to more experienced people and I think that we all learnt a lot! The centre at Kindrogan was lovely and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I have already booked a place on another FSC course for next year!


Bird Identification at Orielton, starting August 17, 2016

We really enjoyed this course the Atmosphere was just the right balance of learning, activity and fun. The food was fantastic, would go back as a full board guest on a regular basis if we didn't live in North East Scotland


Saltmarshes : Geology and Evolution @ The Green Centre at Epping Forest, starting August 13, 2016


Saltmarshes : Geology and Evolution @ The Green Centre at Epping Forest, starting August 13, 2016


Saltmarshes: Botany and Ecology @ The Green Centre at Epping Forest, starting August 12, 2016


Saltmarshes: Botany and Ecology @ The Green Centre at Epping Forest, starting August 12, 2016


Birds and Wildlife of South Devon at Slapton Ley, starting August 12, 2016

A very enjoyable week in the sunny S.Devon. The accommodation and food were excellent, especially the flapjack for packed lunch, the fresh brewed coffee after dinner was a real bonus. The tutor had an amazing breadth of knowledge about the wildlife we found and also the general area. On the rare occasions he was unsure led the discussion of how to ID plants/birds as we talked over the day's trip in the evening. I learnt a lot without realising it, the mark of a good teacher. The course involved walking around hilly coast paths but the pace was easy with many breaks. I found the course busy, evening walks were optional but very enjoyable, watching bats emerge from a roost and finding glow worms in the hedges were not to be missed.


An Introduction to Bird Ringing at Slapton Ley, starting August 12, 2016

A very informative course with lots of hands on tuition. Excellent and friendly course tutors who took time to instruct and encourage all course members irrespective of experience.


Practical Microscopy: Go It Alone Weekend at Flatford Mill, starting August 12, 2016

An excellent course making hard and dry mounts of various insects with expert tuition. Good food and accommodation.


Identifying Freshwater Invertebrates at Malham Tarn, starting August 05, 2016

Sharon and Peter were brilliant teachers, their enthusiasm and knowledge combined, resulted in a very informative and enjoyable course. Sharon did a brilliant job of tailoring the course to each person's needs/interests to ensure every person got exactly what they wanted from the course. Their laid back, informative approach to teaching ensured that they were fully approachable and uncondescending no matter what question was asked. The centre was very difficult to find and I would certainly recommend more signs for the FSC and less misleading 'no vehicles' signs. I only found the centre as I followed a FSC van! The main house was brilliant, alongside the food and facilities there. Great cakes! The equipment, including microscopes/dissecting forceps etc could have been better and were very outdated and difficult to use. I stayed in the High Stables accommodation and I have to admit, the room wasn't a very good standard. The smell of mould/damp was very over powering and I had to keep the windows open. The bedding was outdated and stained with blood, I didn't feel very comfortable sleeping in it. The shower was frustrating as you had to keep pressing the button. Overall, the rooms could really do with updating! But still, the course was of an extremely high standard! I really enjoyed it :)


Identifying Plants: Using Botanical Keys with Confidence at Flatford Mill, starting August 05, 2016


Scottish Island Coastal Birds at Millport, starting August 05, 2016


Identifying Hoverflies at Preston Montford, starting August 05, 2016

An excellent course in a very pleasant environment. The tutors were first-class and provided a high level of teaching and support throughout the four days.


Identifying Hoverflies at Preston Montford, starting August 05, 2016


Identifying Hoverflies at Preston Montford, starting August 05, 2016

Excellent course with brilliant tutors.


Identifying Mosses and Liverworts at Preston Montford, starting August 03, 2016

Good course Martga was a bit vague and got muddled now and again. However her knowledge, enthusiasm and one to one teaching was excellent Good meals and Liz was great as host


Introduction to Diptera at Preston Montford, starting August 01, 2016

Excellent course with brilliant tutors.


Introduction to Diptera at Preston Montford, starting August 01, 2016

A rare opportunity to look at all diptera families. A pair of great tutors who are extremely knowledgeable and the course had a good balance of field work and microscope study. I came aware with a much better understanding of the different families of Diptera and the resources available to study them further. This courses needed the Mon-Fri format to cover everything without feeling rushed.


Introduction to Diptera at Preston Montford, starting August 01, 2016

Good course material; helpful tutors; time to consolidate knowledge through practical exercises. Thank you!


Scottish Island Wild Flowers and Coastal Plants at Millport, starting July 31, 2016


An 'Immersion' into Marine Biology at Millport, starting July 31, 2016

A really great course and accommodation (but truly diabolical catering* - just one star for that I'm afraid). I'd love to revisit but would look into self-catering if I did. Phillip Cowie's pace and blend of sessions is excellent for this technical beginners level course. Excellent equipment, research boat, microscopes, library and very short distances to study sites - remarkably, all within walking distance! It's quite intense for Phillip - I'd suggest he got someone to help him out for some of the time - we had an excellent PhD student along on one of the days we were out. We were blessed with good weather - but there's lots of options for lab time if the weather is bad so I think they can cope with it well. If anything, I'd suggest cutting each day by an hour to give people chance to 'decompress' and tour this little island. (I needed the time to go back over to Largs (20-30mins each way depending on bus/ferry times to and buy fresh food). The shops on the island keep odd hours so best to stock up in Largs (big co-op near ferry terminal). I'd recommend linking it with a visit to Arran if you can - it looked awesome across the water from Millport. Seriously though, worst quality of food I've had anywhere for 20 years...bring supplies. *beef for sunday dinner, monday packed lunch, monday dinner, tuesday dinner - had me fleeing the island for groceries/vitamins... but then! the promise of a veg curry (turned out to be chopped spuds and cauli or maybe broccoli? in tinned tomatoes). Rice was nice though. Heavy fug of cooking oil lingered from breakfast to evening too - even when there didn't seem to be anything fried? A theme that continues round the many chippys of Largs (saw my first slice of deep-fried pizza - they exist).


An 'Immersion' into Marine Biology at Millport, starting July 31, 2016

Very interesting and enjoyable 4 days. Phillip a vast knowledge of his subject and knows how to communicate it to people of different ages and levels of knowledge in an interesting way. Plenty of field work in a variety of settings combined with talks and laboratory work with microscopes - a lot of hands-on discovery. The food and rooms were fine and the Centre has a friendly and active atmosphere.


Plants of Bogs and Mires at Preston Montford, starting July 29, 2016

Very interesting course and great introduction to this unusual assemblage of plants. Hilary's teaching was very logical and there was a mixture of abilities, which she coped with very well. Would recommend, especially to ecologists working in uplands.


Plants of Bogs and Mires at Preston Montford, starting July 29, 2016

Teaching excellent. Catering variable particularly as a non resident, I specifically asked whether lunch making items would be out until 9am and was told it would be. Yet it had been put away when arriving at 08:45 on two mornings and then not all the standard bits were given to me. It is included for non residents, please be clear about its availability.


Chalk and Limestone Grassland Moths at Juniper Hall, starting July 29, 2016

A good opportunity to become familiar with specialist chalk and limestone grassland moths in a beautiful setting. Emptying moth traps was a good way to collect specimens for later identification or review. Dave provided a wealth of tips and advice to help us arrive at a decision before confirming or suggesting other things to consider. This helped to increase confidence in ability to do this for yourself after the course


Introduction to the Flora of Box Hill at Juniper Hall, starting July 29, 2016

We learned a lot during lovely walks on Box Hill. Chris our tutor was very inviting and taught us a lot without anyone feeling silly. So I really liked the course in itself. Ackommodation was so and so. The coomonroom wasn't clean, cheese stood from one dayto the next. A lovely house but not very well kept. The office was a mess and closed on Sunday when there was a weekend course going on. Strange!


Introduction to the Flora of Box Hill at Juniper Hall, starting July 29, 2016

A really excellent course - I feel inspired to botanise myself and would also like to come on further FSC courses.The tutor, Chris Ford, gave us a good introduction to the geology of Box Hill and explained why it is such a botanical hot spot. We had two full days of walking & exploration and then further sessions looking at plants around the grounds of Juniper Hall after supper.


Introduction to Mosses at Preston Montford, starting July 16, 2016

Excellent introductory course to Mosses and Livertworts.


Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies at Preston Montford, starting July 15, 2016

A great course. The room I stayed in was clean, welcoming and well-aired and Darwin teaching area was comfortable too. The tutor, Sue Rees Evans, was very clear. She gave interesting presentations with very useful information, followed up with field trips and microscopy. I would recommend this course because the preparation and presentation by the tutor was excellent. All the other staff were friendly and helpful and Louise did a good job as chauffeur. Our individual needs were also taken into consideration, giving us all a personal service.


Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies at Preston Montford, starting July 15, 2016

The course was brilliant - Sue Rees Evans is an enthusiastic tutor with excellent teaching material and a positive attitude to helping people learn. Course participants were of a variety of ages and experience which was good for the dynamics of the group. I wasn't pleased that despite completing a form asking to be collected from Shrewsbury station I wasn't and had to ring up, arrange my own taxi (not easy on a Friday evening) and arrived only a couple of minutes before dinner.


Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies at Preston Montford, starting July 15, 2016

A fantastic course! Gave us a good general introduction, plus the knowledge to identify many of the species - both in adult form and from their exuviae. Plenty of time out in the field too, putting our knowledge into practice and learning how to catch and hold dragonflies and damselflies without damaging them. The trainer, Sue Rees Evans' enthusiasm was infectious. I'd thoroughly recommend the course.


Grass Identification at Malham Tarn, starting July 15, 2016

The course itself was very good and I learnt a lot. Although it is advertised as being aimed at beginners in Grasses, most of the other course members were already quite knowledgeable, and needed the course for their professional development. Not unreasonably, the course was mainly geared towards them, and there was only a small amount of classroom teaching. My rating would have been higher if the accommodation/food had been better. The heating in High Stables was not working, as had been the case on the course I attended a month earlier, although this was fixed after the first night. The shower was nearly useless, giving 3 second bursts of a feeble trickle, barely a few inches from the wall. The food was variable in quality, sometimes rather stodgy and lacking in fresh vegetables, but plentiful however.


Finding and Identifying Beetles at Juniper Hall, starting July 15, 2016

This course was fascinating. There was a great balance of classroom and practical outdoors learning. The tutor was able to cater to all levels of knowledge - I knew nothing and learned a lot, and those who knew plenty also seemed to learn a lot! Juniper Hall is in a beautiful location, very friendly and good food too. I would recommend this course to anyone - it was a truly delightful experience.


Solitary Bees: Identification and Ecology at Flatford Mill, starting July 15, 2016

this was a wonderful absorbing course set in the beautiful surroundings of Flatford Mill. Every day we had a short lecture on a different group of bees and then spent time on microscopy keying out specimens. Needed a week long course in order to begin to get to grips with this difficult group. The time was interspersed with wanders in the grounds, and two field trips to stunning sites, further afield. Tuition top notch. Could have happily stayed another week!


Solitary Bees: Identification and Ecology at Flatford Mill, starting July 15, 2016

A first-class course, extremely well presented and very informative. I would definitely attend another week long course run by the FSC.


Focus in on Micro-Moths of Epping Forest at Epping Forest, starting July 09, 2016

Very informative. Inspired me to try more day-time netting and increased confidence in tackling identification


Identifying Moths and Butterflies at Flatford Mill, starting July 08, 2016

This is a good course for beginners and there's plenty to keep the more experienced moth-ers busy too. The slide-shows are a little dated now - a move to digital projection with newer images would be good.


Introduction to Sedges at Preston Montford, starting July 05, 2016

I had done some reading in advance and found the material difficult to grasp but it was clearly explained by Mark and I made much more progress than expected.


Grasses, Sedges and Rushes at Millport, starting July 01, 2016


Identifying Solitary Wasps at Preston Montford, starting June 26, 2016

Clear, detailed teaching, with lots of examples of wasps in the fields. Very useful for learning to identify solitary wasps. Guided practice with microscopes and keys was particularly useful


Identifying Ants at Preston Montford, starting June 25, 2016


Identifying Ants at Preston Montford, starting June 25, 2016

Was good. Ian was good teacher, friendly and fun. Just an idea for future course - you could attach a microscope to a screen to teach us the relevant anatomy / id features.


Identifying British Trees at Preston Montford, starting June 25, 2016

A great course, lots of useful information in a handout with some really good tips and ID pointers while out in the field, I've learnt a lot from this and can easily identify most of the trees I see when out and about now


Identifying British Trees at Preston Montford, starting June 25, 2016

Great course really informative and so much fitted into it, I learned a lot. Throughly recommended!


Identifying British Trees at Preston Montford, starting June 25, 2016

Thank you for the opportunity to feedback on my recent British Tree Identification training course. The tutor was very knowledgeable, clearly enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the subject she was delivering. I however felt that, for me, the course did not effectively cater to all learning styles. At the start of the course we were presented with a booklet of information that we didn’t really get a chance to read through before being taken outside. As it had been raining heavily before we left the classroom she advised us not to take our note books out with us in case it started again. I am not an aural learner and find it difficult to retain information without being able to write it down. I will admit in this instance I should taken my notes out anyway as others did. At the start of the course there was some form of structure in place; we were going to start by looking at trees with Catkins. As we explored the grounds however the tutor would jump to another ‘family’ as we were passing certain trees so that we ‘didn’t have to come back to this area again’. I found this very hard to follow as I had no notes to help me re-enforce what was being said. I found it very hard also when the tutor would spot a tree whilst explaining something to us and walk away so I was unable to hear some of the information. Most people at the start of the course had stated that they were beginners and knew nothing about trees, this however seemed to often be forgotten as we walked around the grounds when the phrase ‘but you obviously knew that’ was used on several occasions. This made me feel that I was unable to ask questions in case they were seen as silly. I recently attended a wildflower ID course where we were given a key and taught how to use them. We then had the opportunity to go out and use the key to identify a selection of Wildflowers ourselves. I feel that I would have been far more comfortable with the information provided if we had had a key to use instead of just being told what tree it was. I came away from the Wildflower ID course feeling confident that even though I didn’t necessarily know more wildflowers that I could identify them with the new skills I had learnt. I appreciate that others on the course may have a different view and I want to stress that don’t feel that the course was a bad one but I wanted to point out that it did not work for me and my learning style. I look forward to attending other courses in the future.


Wild Flowers of the Limestone - the Flora of Llanymynech at Preston Montford, starting June 25, 2016

A very useful classroom session was followed by a very enjoyable and informative site visit. The tutor was excellent and the course useful for the beginner or more experienced botanist.


Wild Flowers of the Limestone - the Flora of Llanymynech at Preston Montford, starting June 25, 2016

Well thought-out informative and enjoyable day


One Third of British Sedges in Three Days at Malham Tarn, starting June 24, 2016

Very good course which has given me much more confidence on the identification of sedges. The centre is in an amazing location.


Freshwater Algae at Kindrogan, starting June 24, 2016

It was really a great course! outstanding tutoring in a beautiful location! Thanks I think you should make more publicity of these courses, they are totally worth it


Wild Orchids of Scotland at Kindrogan, starting June 20, 2016

A great course, however, the minibus supplied was not of sufficient size for the group, so I was obliged to drive 250 miles during the course. There was a photo course at the same time, who monopolised the pine martin hide (despite having there own pop-up hides available), this hide should be available to all.


Identification of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes @ The Green Cen at Epping Forest, starting June 18, 2016

It was advertised as suitable for complete beginners, which I was. Apart from an initial coverage of the structure of grasses, the course seemed to assume knowledge of grasses. I was left struggling to identify individual grasses, mostly by myself. A knowledgeable student on the course was more help to me than the course tutor. The field trip was badly organised; there were not enough maps to go round; the tutor did not tell us there were 2 car parks so myself and another student went to the wrong one. The tutor said "let me know if there is anything you do not recognise"; I did not recognise most of the grasses. I was very disappointed in the course, and felt I only gained from half a day of the 2 day course.


Identifying the Sedges and their Allies at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting June 17, 2016

Really enjoyable - perfectly paced and left me feel enthused and comfortable with using the handbook. Couldn't have been better.


Identifying the Sedges and their Allies at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting June 17, 2016


Field Guide to Grass Identification at Preston Montford, starting June 11, 2016

A great course. The tutor was thorough and very patient. She explained things methodically and in easy to understand terms. There was a good mix of classroom and outdoor based sessions; all backed up be clear handouts.


Field Guide to Grass Identification at Preston Montford, starting June 11, 2016

I really enjoyed my course at Preston Montford. It was really great to get into the field to do some identification as well as in the lab. Having Fiona going through several keys to identify the grasses was very helpful to figure out which works best for you. Keying through the grasses for most of the day was great as it gave me more confidence that I can now do it myself. The teacher, Fiona, was great as her enthusiasm was infectious which meant that I still wanted to continue at the end of the day. Thanks for putting this course on. I look forward to coming to another one.


Field Identification for Phase 1 at Epping Forest, starting June 11, 2016


Introduction to Solitary Bees at Preston Montford, starting June 10, 2016

A very enjoyable course with great trips out to some fantastic local sites. The tutor was very knowledgeable and helpful when looking at specimens under the microscope. A great location too.


Wild Orchids of South East England at Juniper Hall, starting June 10, 2016

This was an excellent course,well organised and run by an expert who knew just how much to tell us and what to leave out. More information was always available if we needed it. We walked through lovely areas and found 14 different types of orchid as well as many other unusual or even rare plants as well. Food good, accommodation OK. Botanising wonderful.


Wild Orchids of South East England at Juniper Hall, starting June 10, 2016

Excellent teaching and saw a wide range of orchids. Very good support from volunteer Sam who was helpful, kind, cheerful and also knowledgeable. Food was good and accommodation adequate(no en-suite)


Wild Orchids of South East England at Juniper Hall, starting June 10, 2016

This course was fantastic. We saw lots of orchids and other wild flowers which I think I would have walked past and not noticed. We went to different terrain and therefore saw more. It was clear that Simon is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about orchids and other wild flowers. So I would like to thank Simon, Sama and other staff at the FSC in Jupiter Hall. Ps. They have great cake!


Wild Flowers in the Chilterns at Amersham, starting June 10, 2016

Absolutely first class. I learned so much about wildflowers and I am inspired to continue on my own and also can't wait to take further courses. The tutor was exceptionally knowledgeable and the centre staff were welcoming, friendly and extremely helpful. The optional accommodation was great and really turned this course into a wonderful mini-break.


Introduction to Grasses at Preston Montford, starting June 07, 2016

A very helpful 'hands on' course


Introduction to Grasses at Preston Montford, starting June 07, 2016

Very well planned and delivered course providing a clear and helpful introduction to grasses and their identification. It gave some good insights into keying out an often daunting family.


Introduction to Grasses at Preston Montford, starting June 07, 2016

Excellent tuition from Mark Duffel. I like to have introductions at the beginning of the course because part of the courses for me is the networking. I know that this can take up valuable tuition time but maybe an altrenative would be to send participant details out before the course (with permissions of course) and we coukd also car share if appropriate to save carbon. I only discovered late on this course that someone came from the same town as me. Also shame no tea and cake in afternoon


Introduction to Grasses at Preston Montford, starting June 07, 2016

a really good introduction, very clear, with lots of guided practice with keys, then chance to apply our newly-learnt skills.


Top 10 Plant Families at Preston Montford, starting June 04, 2016

A brilliant hands on course, but with great handouts to back up learning. The tutor was great at pitching the level of the course to the individual participants making it accessible to all.


Introduction to Bumblebees at Preston Montford, starting June 04, 2016

Started off quite overwhelming with a lot of information to take in, but it all came together by the end of the day! A very enthusiastic and helpful tutor, I feel very confident to ID the most common species of bumblebess in the field now


Introduction to Bumblebees at Preston Montford, starting June 04, 2016

Excellent tuition from Ian Cheeseborough. Very practical. Again note commnet for Grasses course - need to have introductions and also advance notice for option to car share and network.


Introduction to Bumblebees at Preston Montford, starting June 04, 2016

A really enjoyable course at the right level for me. The tutor is very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and happy to help his students. A very pleasant location.


BLS Introducing Lichens at Preston Montford, starting June 04, 2016

After spending so much time photographing lichens on Skomer during last year's Orielton members' course weekend, I wanted to take my burgeoning interest a little further. However, I soon found that I was biting off more than I could chew. The course introduced us to the main types of lichen, and then proceeded to break down these further into categories involving their reproduction. I learned that one stage for the identification at species level Was to squirt potassium or caustic soda at them to see what, they change to. Others need to be identified using microscopic techniques. I found this quite daunting for someone who was inspire by lichens, life-cycle, by seeing them portrayed on an Open University television program in the 1990s. We were given practical experience using both stereo and compound microscopes in order to view cross sections in the hope that we would be able to see both the algae and fungus making up the dissected organism. We were shown examples in the grounds of Preston Montford on living trees and, after lunch, we were treated to a short drive to Bicton church Where we will able to see lichens growing on walls, graves and stones in situ. I felt that the course tried to convey too much in too short a time– a three-day course would have been more appropriate.


Yorkshire Dales Wild Flowers at Malham Tarn, starting June 03, 2016

A really enjoyable course with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable tutor. It would have been five stars if the accommodation and food had been better.


Discovering the Flora of Chalk Grasslands and Woodlands at Juniper Hall, starting June 03, 2016

Wonderful course and location


Discovering the Flora of Chalk Grasslands and Woodlands at Juniper Hall, starting June 03, 2016

A privilege to have such top quality teaching


Discovering the Flora of Chalk Grasslands and Woodlands at Juniper Hall, starting June 03, 2016

Great course in superb environment with hugely knowledgeable tutor!


Discovering the Flora of Chalk Grasslands and Woodlands at Juniper Hall, starting June 03, 2016

A well-organised and instructive course. David Streeter is a top-class tutor with vast knowledge of the flora, expert command of the techniques of teaching, and thought-provoking ideas on ecology. Compliments to Centre staff for efficient administration. Good food and accommodation.


Butterfly and Moth Identification at Blencathra, starting May 28, 2016

Excellent tutor, lots of moths and butterflies - plus orchids


Bat Ecology (Beginners to Intermediate) at Margam Discovery Centre, starting May 27, 2016

Have heard many good things about Richard Crompton. Great to have him for the weekend sharing his knowledge and expertise. Fantastic value for money


Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 27, 2016

Excellent course. Much better able to identify flowering plants now.


Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 27, 2016

An excellent course. Our leader catered for students from a wide range of backgrounds, experience and age with enthusiasm and dedication. I learned a lot and am enjoying putting my new skills into practice. The food was excellent and the accommodation comfortable. Thank you for a very interesting experience.


Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 27, 2016

Very informative. Good balance of field work and lab work. Beautiful location. Would highly recommend this course.


Birds of the North Wales Coast, Woodlands and Uplands at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting May 27, 2016

Excellent course for novice and more experienced birders. The tutor, Edward Jackson, was amazing, his knowledge is exceptional for bird and bird song identification.. A course I would recommend to everyone


Tree Identification at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting May 27, 2016


Tree Identification at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting May 27, 2016

I absolutely loved the course, but I would never have gone on it if I knew walking all day without toilet stops were involved. Nor would I have gone if I knew it was so advanced regarding terms etc. Yet, I coped and In spite of being wet to the skin and having no hooks in my room to hang sodden clothes I thoroughly enjoyed it. Gained a lot of knowledge, inspiration and confidence not only in trees but myself. I am over 70 and was ignorant of what was involved. Staff very helpful, food excellent, though sago for breakfast took me by surprise. Sandwich making facilities great. Maybe a tad expensive for the accommodation.


ARC Reptiles and Amphibians at Preston Montford, starting May 27, 2016

Excellent tutor - and ideal location - highlighting lesser-known parts of the UK for me (a Yorkshireman). Other attendees were completing the MMU course so were stressed about end of course assessment (they shouldn't have been - the tutor was great - even I'd have passed and I knew next to nowt when I arrived.) Decent rooms and centre but the Dining room layout was far too cramped for adults - bit pointless when half the rooms unoccupied too? Would attend other courses here too, although it's one of the least attractive centres I've visited when compared to Malham, Millport, Kindrogan, Blencathra, Flatford Mill, R-Y-Creau etc etc


ARC Reptiles and Amphibians at Preston Montford, starting May 27, 2016

I'm very glad I did this course. The tutor John was excellent, and always helpful if we were unsure. I enjoyed both the lectures and the practicals, and learned far more than I would have simply by reading a book. Thank you!


Identifying Woodland Plants at Preston Montford, starting May 27, 2016

A fantastic weekend. Course tutor highly knowledgeable and approachable. I learned a great deal about how to identify a wide range of woodland plants, which has been very beneficial for my career. Brilliant facilities at the field centre. Highly recommended course.


Identifying Woodland Plants at Preston Montford, starting May 27, 2016

The unit was absolutely brilliant. The sessions were structured and well delivered by an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, experienced and great tutor: His commitment to us as students was fantastic; he went more than the extra mile for us. The sessions were methodical, strategic, interesting, informative, fun, reflective and challenging all at once! I have learnt so much and been inspired by the module content and the way it was delivered.


Top 20 Flowering Plants for Beginners at Slapton Ley, starting May 26, 2016

Brilliant


Top 20 Flowering Plants for Beginners at Slapton Ley, starting May 26, 2016

I loved every minute of this course. The tuition from Ros Bennett was excellent, the settings for our fieldwork were beautiful and rich in flora. The accommodation was very comfortable and the food was exceptional particularly from a vegetarians point of view. My only complaint is that I would have liked it to last longer. I have already booked more FSC courses.


Top 20 Flowering Plants for Beginners at Slapton Ley, starting May 26, 2016

We both enjoyed our trip to Slapton. It has started us off on a renewed understanding of nature as we find ourselves becoming empty nesters! The accommodation was comfortable, just as we required, and the food plentiful and excellent. Thank you Ros Bennett for sharing your superb knowledge of Botany in an effective and caring way! You have inspired us both. What a gift to be able to communicate and educate in such an admirable way! We are both proud to reccommend your course to all those we meet who have interest and there seem to be a lot of takers so far! Slapton Ley is a very special place nestled in the soft rolling hills of the South Hams and uniquely placed with the beach, lake, lanes and woodland all adorned with flowers. There is plenty to study. We wish the team at the Field Studies Council every success!


Woodland Plants at Slapton Ley, starting May 23, 2016

Excellent


ARC Frogs, Toads and Newts at Preston Montford, starting May 21, 2016

The course was very well organised with a nice mix of classroom based information sharing and identification sessions in the field. The course tutor was clearly very knowledgeable, friendly and approachable and created a relaxed learning environment in which we felt comfortable asking questions. We were lucky enough to see all 5 native amphibian species and practiced survey methods. Our tutor was very sensitive towards the natural environment and respectful of the welfare of the animals we caught, which was important to me. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn more about identifying UK amphibians and to improve their knowledge of their ecology and status.


Identification of Bats at Preston Montford, starting May 20, 2016


Identification of Bats at Preston Montford, starting May 20, 2016


Bird Survey Techniques at Preston Montford, starting May 20, 2016

Kevin introduced all the main bird survey techniques in a logical way. The sites we visited gave an opportunity to listen and see a variety of birdlife and was suitable for most ecologists with some prior bird knowledge.


Bat Ecology at Amersham, starting May 14, 2016

A really informative course introducing different aspects of bats, licensing, etc.


Limestone Woodland Flowers of Llynclys at Preston Montford, starting May 14, 2016

A very enjoyable and informative site visit preceded by a useful introduction in the classroom. The tutor was excellent and pitched the day to appeal to both experienced botanists and beginners.


Mosses and Liverworts: Bryophytes for Beginners at Epping Forest, starting May 14, 2016


Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 13, 2016

A good and quite intensive introduction to key work.


Woodland Flowers in the Chilterns at Amersham, starting May 07, 2016


Woodland Conservation and Management at Orielton, starting May 05, 2016

Heavily weighted in favour of identification of trees and plants and not enough about management techniques or the practicalities of forestry work.


Microfungi at Kindrogan, starting May 01, 2016

A superb course for someone with a bit of experience in field mycology. An opportunity to learn from one of the most knowledgeable tutors in the country.


Working Towards a Great Crested Newt Licence at Preston Montford, starting April 29, 2016

Excellent course - Jackie Underhill was a really good and enthusiastic teacher, and the content was ideal as a detailed introduction to GCN and survey techniques. The course is very intensive and I needed a day to recover, but I definitely got my moneys worth!


Introduction to Lichens at Kindrogan, starting April 29, 2016

This was excellent - very knowledgable and patient tutor and aided by a helper with great people skills made all of us in a mixed knowledge group feel we had met some learning goals with a fairly technical group of plants. Venue is very appropriate too - although we didnt get out of the grounds, which i would have liked to knwo beforehand


Introduction to Lichens at Kindrogan, starting April 29, 2016

Excellent course. I learned a lot. Coming back for second half next year.


Phase 1 Habitat Surveys for Site Assessments and Environment at Flatford Mill, starting April 29, 2016

A great course - very insightful, with an enthusiastic course leader and fellow course attendees. Really good food and accomodation.


Identifying Grasses in Spring at Juniper Hall, starting April 29, 2016

Excellent course with a very experienced leader and comfortable accommodation.


Botany for Beginners at Preston Montford, starting April 26, 2016

The course was brilliantly delivered , giving just the right amount of information to make a difficult subject manageable for beginners. I enjoyed it and am trying to use the knowledge gained.


Botany for Beginners at Preston Montford, starting April 26, 2016

A fantastic day course with a very patient and helpful tutor. It definitely put me in a position to feel confident enough to go out and start at least grouping plants into their families!


Botany for Beginners at Preston Montford, starting April 26, 2016

A great course with a patient and brilliant tutor. Everything was explained really well and repeated if necessary, without feeling silly for asking! The use of microscopes as well as handouts and explanations made the detail of the subject matter real.


Botany for Beginners at Preston Montford, starting April 26, 2016

First rate beginners course which taught me how to classify plants into the common families and also how to use a plant key, which can be daunting to try without any training. The course was all in the classroom, of necessity due to the careful dissecting of flower-heads, etc which we did.


Introduction to Dragonfly Larvae at Preston Montford, starting April 23, 2016

I really enjoyed this one day course, which was well presented and ideal for a novice dragonfly spotter. I learnt a lot about the subject and thought that the tutor was an excellent communicator.


Introduction to Dragonfly Larvae at Preston Montford, starting April 23, 2016

Fantastic course, clear and precise information wonderfully delivered by the tutor (Sue Reese Evans) who had enthusiasm for the subject and pupils. I left with more knowledge than I had hoped for and a keenness to use it.


Working Towards a Great Crested Newt Licence at Preston Montford, starting April 22, 2016

Fantastic course! The classroom bits were comprehensive, yet informal enough for everyone to feel comfortable and have a laugh which aids learning! There were people from all walks of life and at different levels of understanding, but the course worked for everyone. Would definitely recommend for anyone interested in newts. Jackie was fantastic. Thank you for the opportunity to attend.


Introduction to Phase 1 Surveys at Preston Montford, starting April 22, 2016

Excellent course. Very comprehensive and at just the right depth of information. The course tutor was fantastic - extremely knowledgable yet considerate and genuiely keen to support others to understand and learn. Really interesting mix of people attending and it took great skill to deal with very different levels of experience without leaving some people behind or failing to support those who already knew a great deal. Brilliant in so many ways.


Songbird Identification at Preston Montford, starting April 22, 2016

excellent weekend -saw and heard lots of species some new to me. its made a real difference to my appreciation of songbirds.


Spring Bird Migration Along the Suffolk Coast at Flatford Mill, starting April 22, 2016

A really great course. Steve continues to be an enthusiastic and knowledgeable course leader with an incredible ability to spot and identify all manner of birds. Flatford Mill is always lovely to stay at with its great food, homely atmosphere and beautiful countryside Thank you


Lichens of Pembrokeshire at Orielton, starting April 21, 2016

An excellent course presented informally by two very experienced Tutors. Although probably not for the complete beginner, those with some background in the subject will benefit considerably. The field trips are excellent too, introducing one to the many Pembrokeshire specialties. A most enjoyable few days.


ARC Working with Natterjacks at Fsc Head Office, starting April 21, 2016


ARC Working with Natterjacks at Fsc Head Office, starting April 21, 2016

The content of the course was pitched at the right level and all in all it was a great course. I have to say though that it did all feel a bit rushed which was a little disconcerting at times - I feel this could have been avoided by starting a little earlier and also scrapping the 'introductions' section which, whilst being a nice way to start, really did eat up valuable time that we didn't seem to have at our disposal. But without a doubt the field visit was the highlight - it was a wonderful opportunity to see and hear natterjacks, to see habitats, spawn and to learn how to survey for this fantastic species!


ARC Working with Natterjacks at Fsc Head Office, starting April 21, 2016

Well put together course near Millom in south Cumbria (not FSC Head Office). It benefitted from having 2-3 leaders to provide a change of pace and focus. The indoor session was very informative and the field trip a great success with many toads spotted and heard. It seemed expensive for a day course but is well worth it - I suspect it's the best course in the UK if natterjacks are you thing. Ruth Popely was particularly good with a challenging group ranging from the mildly-odd to the deeply eccentric.


Plant Identification Using the Vegetative Key at Preston Montford, starting April 19, 2016

Very good


Plant Identification Using the Vegetative Key at Preston Montford, starting April 19, 2016

The course was well structured, easy to follow and extremely informative. Mark Duffell is a talented tutor and exceptionally knowledgeable, and willing to go above and beyond to help you get the most out of the course. Poland's book has been sat on my shelf unused for 2 years, I now feel confident to use it and have been doing so regularly since the course. I cannot recommend this course highly enough.


Plant Identification Using the Vegetative Key at Preston Montford, starting April 19, 2016


Plant Identification Using the Vegetative Key at Preston Montford, starting April 19, 2016

An extremely informative if intense course for a novice, I look forward to attending more of Mark's courses


Plant Identification Using the Vegetative Key at Preston Montford, starting April 19, 2016


Plant Identification Using the Vegetative Key at Preston Montford, starting April 19, 2016

This could have been a really difficult course, but the tutor made it interesting and enjoyable. The session was challenging, but not pressured. There was always help at hand to support learning. A good combination of classroom and outdoor, practical sessions.


ARC Great Crested Newts and Licensing for Surveys at Fsc Head Office, starting April 06, 2016

Great mixture of theory and practical. David is an excellent tutor and gave all the relevant information that would allow me to confidently undertake a Great Crested Newt survey. Would highly recommend the course to anyone wishing to gain their Great Crested Newt survey license.


ARC Great Crested Newts and Licensing for Surveys at Fsc Head Office, starting April 06, 2016

Course content was excellent and David was incredibly knowledgeable and ran the course at a nice pace.


Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound in Epping Forest at Epping Forest, starting April 03, 2016

Really interesting and useful day. Very helpful to focus on bird song and be encouraged to listen more precisely.


Introduction to Mosses and Liverworts at Kindrogan, starting March 25, 2016

Good course, great sites. Theo is approachable and very knowledgeable. I think the evening sessions needed more structure. Learnt a lot Food good and accommodation fine


Scottish Island Birds: Winter Migrants at Millport, starting March 18, 2016

We saw plenty of birds, a couple new to me. The centre facilities and food were excellent. For me the down side was the plan to walk 10 miles round the island while bird watching and on tarmac, terrible on the knees! A car came to give us a lift for 2 and a half miles which helped but I would not have come if I had known about all the road walking. You should say in the course description how much walking is involved, and on the type of terrain.


Identifying Mosses and Liverworts at Preston Montford, starting March 18, 2016

Good course, i enjoyed it. However it was disappointing that it was advertised as an intermediate level and most of the attendees were beginners.


Identifying Mosses and Liverworts at Preston Montford, starting March 18, 2016


BLS Introducing Lichens at Epping Forest, starting March 12, 2016

A great introduction to lichens - lots of things I have never noticed before. I feel confident in spotting some of the most common woodland lichens and look forward to learning some more.


Coniferous Trees in Bushy Park at London, starting March 12, 2016

Very informative without being overwhelming. Course tutor was excellent. Very good value


QGIS at Preston Montford, starting February 19, 2016

Excellent learning material giving quick access to this technology.


Winter Birdwatching Weekend at Flatford Mill, starting February 19, 2016

Excellent weekend with expert tips given for distinguishing similar - looking birds in the field. Very enjoyable.


Winter Birdwatching Weekend at Flatford Mill, starting February 19, 2016

A most friendly and professionally presented course! And a fine introduction to what Flatford Mill offers.


Winter Tree Identification at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting February 19, 2016

I loved the May course and felt ready to take this next step - tricker time to ID from sight, but the tutor, Matt Parratt made it very logical and made great use of the AIDGAP keys (well worth buying one before you attend). Probably need to repeat the course to make it all stick - there was a lot of content - but I'm very pleased with what it gave me. Centre under new management but still excellent set-up.


Winter Tree Identification at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting February 19, 2016

Excellent balance of indoor work and field visits, even with the awful weather we still managed to get see a range of sites. It was really valuable to work through the key to identify samples and reinforce this with field characteristics and useful tips. Food and accommodation brilliant as always. Thoroughly recommend the course and the centre.


Mosses and Liverworts at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting February 19, 2016

The tutor is a highly respected bryologist who has allowed her reputation to substitute for proper preparation and planning with a total disregard for Health and Safety as currently practiced by course and walk leaders. Preparation. Her preparation comprised a bunch of old slides - yes the centre managed to dust off the old slide projector! Even the local natural history groups are now on digital media. Planning - the forecast for North Wales was vile for the whole weekend if she had bothered to turn up a couple of hours earlier she could have collected plenty of mosses to illustrate her introductory talk and reduce the time necessary in the field in pouring rain. This is what the tree lecturer did for the tree course running at the same time. The course was billed as suitable for beginners yet the one complete beginner was completely abandoned. The first thing a tutor should do is to identify the needs and abilities of the group. Nick Hodgetts took the beginners through 'how to use a microscope'. how to dissect mosses etc. The Saturday evening comprised a three hour uninterrupted lecture - I admire her stamina but has she not heard of attention span, breaks? Health and Safety - surely these days walk or course leaders must undertake a recce and risk assessment of field sites and convey this to the group. She did not do this as she was talking about walking in the river despite the fact of 24 hours rain! A legal claim waiting to happen! One participant fell but luckily seemed uninjured. A risk assessment form was supplied by Tarmac for their quarry which we saw - obviously they are aware of the possible implications of any accidents on their site. The tutor failed to pay any regard to adverse weather conditions and the implications for the welfare of the group. She seemed determined to spend 2 days in the field come what may. The group vetoed this and requested a return to the centre to get warmed up where she complained about "being dictated to" - all very unsatisfactory. By contrast the tree lecturer arranged "fresh air breaks" to do the field work whilst remaining close to the centre to shelter and warm up. The food at the centre was limited to one meat or vegetarian option for dinner and the packed lunch materials were the same processed cheese or ham on both days neither of which were very pleasant.


Mosses and Liverworts at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting February 19, 2016

The course tutor was very enthusiastic and keen to teach her students. The food at the centre was delicious and staff very helpful. Course material could be more uptodate, e.g. the use of powerpoint presentation annotated with correct names of species, rather than slides. As this is supposed to be a course suitable for beginners or as a revision, the provision of a useable key for students to follow would be helpful for the field survey. A suggestion would be for the samples of mosses to be collected prior to site visit to learn the key terminology and identification points using the microscope, then go to site for the students to identify the species. Overall the course was a good introduction to mosses and liverworts.


Mosses and Liverworts at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting February 19, 2016

The course covered a lot of mosses and liverworts in the field with time in the lab to try to identify them using a useful amount of books. However, this was in your own time with little group activities. The course wasn't particularly well-structured and we didn't go through basic features, go through keying out or shown how to use the microscopes which was a bit disappointing and difficult for beginners. It is more suitable for people with experience of bryophyte idenfication, that can already use keys and microscopes, that would like to see different species and habitats in the field, with an expert that can confirm your identifications.


Blowflies, Flesh Flies and Woodlouse Flies - A Dipterists Fo at Preston Montford, starting February 19, 2016

The course was excellent and the atmosphere was very enjoyable. The accommodation was warm and adequate for a weekend course. The food was good and I enjoyed the vegetarian option.


Winter Tree Identification at Preston Montford, starting February 02, 2016

Everything very well explained, and gave confidence to increase level of ID skills. Particularly useful to have lots of examples to practice on.


Identifying Trees Without Leaf in Epping Forest at Epping Forest, starting January 30, 2016

Excellent classroom instruction, handouts and field study session led by Ken. Reminds us how fascinating botany can be.


ARC Great Crested Newts, Licensing and Mitigation at Preston Montford, starting December 04, 2015

Excellent course with knowledgable trainers. Good facility with plenty of food and good accomodation. The course however could have finished a little earlier in the evenings and started earlier on the first day.


Light Microscopy for Botanists @ The Green Centre at Epping Forest, starting November 29, 2015


Light Microscopy for Botanists @ The Green Centre at Epping Forest, starting November 29, 2015

A great introduction. I feel confident in using different microscopes for different purposes and in preparing slides. I have now bought my first microscope!


Trees and Tree Identification: The Challenge of Early Winter at Flatford Mill, starting November 27, 2015

Excellent and interesting course. Tutor was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Really enjoyed it. Good location and facilities.


Getting to Know Conifers at Juniper Hall, starting November 13, 2015

Excellent course. I came away feeling I now had tools to identify more conifers with some confidence. The tutor's enthusiasm was infectious, and I enjoyed both the sessions inside sorting through specimens and those outside (apart from the rain!), especially the Pinetum visit - where we enjoyed better weather too! Thank you.


Somerset Lichens 2015 at Nettlecombe Court, starting November 07, 2015

I found the course on Lichens was highly informative and well scheduled. The content was excellent and helpful at all levels. Everyone received appropriate help and advice. It would have been good if the details of the course could be maintained on the website so that attendees could check timing and lunch arrangements. It is a pity that no courses are scheduled at this centre next year. Marine wildlife will be under threat and close focus during the year.


Woodland Fungi at Epping Forest, starting October 11, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyable day, learned lots , walking in Epping Forest on a glorious autumn day, I had no idea how many varieties of fungi there were. Will be much more observant about what's underfoot when out on walks here on.


Woodland Fungi at Epping Forest, starting October 11, 2015

This was a great event. We managed to find 42 different fungi on our 4 hour walk. Some were tiny sweet little things, whilst others were dramatic colourful and deadly. Tricia our Leader is an expert and made the event very interesting with her comprehensive knowledge of Epping Forest, conservation, plant anatomy and animal behavior. The field center is easy to find and the staff from booking in, through registration and support on the event are brilliant.


Identifying Fungi at Kindrogan, starting October 09, 2015


Identifying Fungi at Kindrogan, starting October 09, 2015


Identifying Fungi at Kindrogan, starting October 09, 2015

This is a well balanced course in terms of site visits, lab work and talks. The tutor is exceptional in terms of knowledge,energy, enthusiasm and inspiration.


Sphagnum Moss at Kindrogan, starting October 09, 2015

I found this a very useful course with a very knowledgeable and helpful tutor. We visited a good range of habitats and were able to see the majority of the British Sphagnum species. There was a good balance of fieldwork and lab work. A slight drawback was that there were not enough microscopes for the whole group and they had to be shared at times.


Autumn Wild Flowers in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at London, starting October 03, 2015

A very good introduction course to studying wild flowers. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Autumn Wild Flowers in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at London, starting October 03, 2015

It was comprehensive, well led and enjoyable. Learnt a lot on the basis of my own observations, as guided by John.


Autumn Wild Flowers in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at London, starting October 03, 2015

A very useful introduction to flower identification given by someone with expert knowledge who is also a clear communicator.


Ecology, Surveying and Conservation of Dormice at Flatford Mill, starting September 18, 2015

Great course. Food was excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Only complaint is that I asked for a room near a bathroom and although I got that, was disappointed to learn that others had an en-suite bathroom. I felt that as I specially asked for a room near a bathroom, if en-suites were available I should have been allocated one, rather than having to get dressed in the middle of the night to go to the loo!


An Introduction to Leaf-Mining Moths at Flatford Mill, starting September 11, 2015

Excellent Course,food and accommodation


Identifying Difficult Fungi Groups - Advanced Mycology at Preston Montford, starting September 06, 2015

Geoffrey Kibby is an excellent teacher. A really good week.


Identifying Trees in Leaf at Epping Forest, starting September 05, 2015

Well run course and a great day out for my dad and I . Can't wait to book onto my next FSC course in November. Thanks to all involved.


Fungal Foray in Bushy Park at London, starting September 05, 2015

A totally absorbing day with just the right balance of theory and practice. Course leader, Geof Kibby top notch. Great fun and highly instructive. Course venue was a lovely place in Bushy Park. Kitchen and coffee making facilities plus toilets all welcome. Centre staff very welcoming and organised. This was my first experience of a FSC workshop. I shall be back for more. Thanks!


Rocky Shore Invertebrates at Dale Fort, starting August 29, 2015

Overall, great course, good facilities and great location – all the rocky shores were within walking distance which was a huge bonus! I would recommend to anyone who has an okay background on rocky shore identification and wants to learn more or to anyone interested in coastal wildlife. John was a brilliant tutor - very approachable, friendly and very knowledgeable in his field. Thank you all for a great learning experience.


Identifying Lichens at Intermediate Level at Flatford Mill, starting August 28, 2015

Very enjoyable and informative course


Identifying Lichens at Intermediate Level at Flatford Mill, starting August 28, 2015

Knowledgeable Course tutor, well prepared with plenty of material for participants to work on in the lab, plus a couple of local field trips.


Otters, Water Voles and Other Riverside Mammals at Flatford Mill, starting August 28, 2015


Land Mammal Identification at Preston Montford, starting August 28, 2015

really good weekend - practical and theoretical - and finally got to see a yellow necked mouse.


Lichens in the Dales: An Introductory Course at Malham Tarn, starting August 21, 2015

A very interesting course. The tutor, Alan Pentecost gave clear presentations and gave us a very thorough introduction to the subject. I found it difficult to use the keys since the whole field of lichenology was new to me and needed some help familiarising myself with use of a microscope. The field trips were good and provided much needed breaks from inside study. However it moved my knowledge of lichens on greatly and I have been able to continue studying them with the help of a more experienced friend.


Dandelions, Daisies and Thistles at Flatford Mill, starting August 14, 2015

Great course very informative with excellent tutor, Ros Bennet, smashing location and nice group of participants. The weather was fab as well!


Introduction to Phase 1 Habitat Surveys at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting August 14, 2015

Very interesting and useful course delivered in absolutely stunning surroundings. I learnt so much, including lots of botanical ID. Highly recommended!


Practical Microscopy: Go It Alone Weekend at Flatford Mill, starting August 14, 2015

An excellent course making dry mounts with expert tuition. Plenty of time to also do your own thing in the lovely surroundings of Flatford Mill. Excellent accommodation and food.


Slugs and Snails at Orielton, starting August 11, 2015

An excellent addition to the FSC programme. The tutor coped admirably with students with differing levels of knowledge, some being relatively experienced and others complete beginners. The choice of field outing sites was excellent, providing a wide variety of habitats to give experience with slugs and snails from woodland, sand dunes, mires, etc. The major weak point was that some of the microscopes were not up to standard, and this should be corrected next year. The course is already booked for 2016 and I am sure will prove the be the success that this one was.


Field Guide to Fern Identification at Preston Montford, starting August 11, 2015

Really interesting and well explained. As a beginner, it was eye opening to learn how much there is to learn about ferns!!


Field Guide to Fern Identification at Preston Montford, starting August 11, 2015

Useful and interesting, very clear explanations, and great to go and ID stuff in the field, a lot of examples in a small area. I felt it gave the skills to be able to go and consolidate and upgrade skills on our own.


Butterflies and Moths at Preston Montford, starting August 10, 2015

An excellent week - it was great to meet up with lots of other moth enthusiasts, and David Brown introduced us to so many new and beautiful species. I left with my head buzzing - in a very positive way! - with the variety of the species I had seen and all the things that I had learnt.


Discovering Bats at Epping Forest, starting August 09, 2015

Brilliant course, learnt a lot, and great fun, and I have now joined my local Bat group.


Grass Identification at Orielton, starting August 08, 2015

A very enjoyable course. Major blockages to progress were removed as a result of the course. I have gained a much sounder basis for future progress. Our tutor was not just a grass specialist but an all-round botanist - which for me was especially pleasing. You know that our tutor was a late replacement. Orielton was new to him. With an intimate knowledge, tapping the full resources of the area will obviously be more efficient. Could not each centre have a member of staff who could locate and identify about 40 grasses in the various local habitats: inevitably the commonest grasses would be in such a group. A three-day course, run in-house - concentrating on a stated number of grasses, with full lab-backup, would, in my view, be admirable.


Identifying Hoverflies at Preston Montford, starting August 07, 2015

If you want to learn about hoverflies, this is the course to do. All aspects of this group are covered and students will gain the skills needed to identify most of the hoverflies.


Identifying Hoverflies at Preston Montford, starting August 07, 2015

Again, a challenging course but one which increased my understanding and ID skills no end!


An Introduction to Bird Ringing at Slapton Ley, starting August 07, 2015

Excellent introductory course.


An Introduction to Bird Ringing at Slapton Ley, starting August 07, 2015

This was a fantastic course run by warm, welcoming, enthusiastic tutors and helpers. I learned so much and have already contacted my local bird ringer so as to begin training. I cannot praise the tutors enough, they were very patient with us and were natural teachers.


An 'Immersion' into Marine Biology at Millport, starting August 02, 2015

I strongly recommend this course. Having only a basic knowledge of this topic, it was great to spend a week exploring the marine habitat around Millport with a tutor as knowledgeable as Dr Phillip Cowie.


An 'Immersion' into Marine Biology at Millport, starting August 02, 2015

Fantastic fun from beginning to end, and very interesting framework of talks. Every day was varied, and we were given a lot of guidance and interesting activities to help us learn.


Plants of Bogs and Mires at Preston Montford, starting July 31, 2015

This was a great course. We were a very mixed group as some had been on courses covering sedges and grasses whereas I knew almost nothing at the start, but the tutor was excellent and we all came away having learnt a lot. The field trips were great (even a very wet day spent halfway up a Welsh mountain) and I can now recognise a number of plants in the field (success). The handouts and keys provided were very useful for the course and I still use them.


Dragonflies at Slapton Ley, starting July 31, 2015

Extremely good course, combining field visits to great sites and evening talks as well. Dave Smallshire is highly expert and very approachable. The centre facilities were fine and the food was over-generous. I was impressed by the library but had absolutely no time to use it.


Identifying Plants: Using Botanical Keys with Confidence at Flatford Mill, starting July 28, 2015

Truly wonderful setting. The accommodation, food and resources were excellent. The tutor had an excellent subject knowledge and truly inspired my confidence with using keys for identifying plants. I had a very enjoyable week and can positively recommend to all.


Butterflies and Moths at Malham Tarn, starting July 27, 2015

The tutor coped well with the poor weather conditions. Only minor things prevented 5 stars. eg micro moths largely ignored, library unavailable on occasion.


An Introduction to Moths and Butterflies at Slapton Ley, starting July 24, 2015

Really good. We learned a lot & enjoyed ourselves as well.


Beetles: Serving the Ecosystem at Slapton Ley, starting July 24, 2015

Excellent course,particularly the time spent in the field. Work in the evenings can make it a long day. Very knowledgeable and friendly lecturer. An insight into insect biology and ecology via the specific instance of that most prolific of insect orders the beetles. You could not fail to come away from the course without a deeper knowledge of beetles and their role in habitat ecology and influence on man's activities.


Beetles: Serving the Ecosystem at Slapton Ley, starting July 24, 2015

A great course, suitable for beginners and those more experienced in beetle identification. The teacher really know his stuff and has the course well planned, with lots of useful handouts. He is very helpful if you get stuck when trying to identify a beetle.


Plants of Bogs and Mosses at Preston Montford, starting July 21, 2015

enjoyable day at Whixall Moss. Well planned, relevant - I learned a lot.


Difficult Plants at Slapton Ley, starting July 20, 2015

An excellent tutor who really knows her stuff and how to get it across, and whose enthusiasm for the subject helps keep you going and get you hooked !


Difficult Plants at Slapton Ley, starting July 20, 2015


Introduction to Mosses at Preston Montford, starting July 18, 2015

Well led and correctly balanced for the participants. Excellent information. I would recomend this course to anyone with an interest in bryophytes.


Mosses and Liverworts at Orielton, starting July 18, 2015

I was probably on the wrong course! One of the participants was a County Recorder for bryophytes, and there was another with similar expertise. The random deluge of species and descriptions probably suited these guys, as they could view it in the context of their considerable pre-existing knowledge. By contrast, I started with being able to name maybe half a dozen bryophyte gennera, but not able to recognise more than a couple of them. I would have benefited from a much more structured and limited exercise. I wouldn`t say I learned nothing - that would have been impossible given Martha`s vast knowledge and enthusiasm! But I did feel somewhat overwhelmed.


Introduction to Micro Moths at Orielton, starting July 18, 2015

This was a most enjoyable experience. The tuition was excellent, as were the facilities for teaching and practical work, and the location was ideal for the course. The accommodation was comfortable and the food plentiful and satisfying, it was particularly convenient to have tea and coffee available throughout the day. I will look forward to the prospect of attending another course at Orielton.


Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies at Preston Montford, starting July 17, 2015

Fascinating course - good mix of classroom sessions and activity in the field. Course leaders were always enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Accommodation and food were fine for me - My room was in a nice quiet location although I know this was not the case for everyone on my course. I would definitely recommend the course and Preston Montford to other people.


Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies at Preston Montford, starting July 17, 2015

Excellent course for people interested in dragon and damselflies. The tutors are knowledgable and know their subject. The mix of classroom and field trips is excellent, as is the session of identifying the exuvia.


Fern Identification at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting July 17, 2015

This was an excellent course and I feel confident of identifying the majority of ferns now. There was plenty of field work and practice at identifying ferns. The only disappointment was that there were very few of the recommended textbook on sale at the Centre, despite the fact that it is a FSC publication!


Grass Identification at Malham Tarn, starting July 17, 2015

Sarah Watson-Jones is clearly a highly knowledgeable tutor. Her calm, relaxed teaching style made a tricky subject, much easier to grasp and her patience with all of us on the course was greatly appreciated. It didn't matter how many times each of us would ask a question she was always happy to help. Malham Tarn was a fantastic venue with great facilities for the course. All the staff were friendly. Excellent value for money. Now for the next course.......


Grass Identification at Malham Tarn, starting July 17, 2015

would have liked much more emphasis on vegetative identification


Aquatic Plant Identification: Beginners at Epping Forest, starting July 16, 2015

really good course, very good intro, handouts and samples in the classroom and great to have so much time out on site. the lunch was very good too. thanks, steve


Aquatic Plants at Preston Montford, starting July 10, 2015

Excellent course. Aquatic flora unlocked by Sarah Wilde and Nick Law. Identification characters well explained, good balance between classroom and field time, and really liked being able to key plants out at my own pace. I am sure I will remember them better that way. Nice to visit a range of habitats in the field as well.


Using a Flora at Preston Montford, starting July 09, 2015

A good course for those with some identification, or recognition, skills. This course introduces aspects of plant anatomy and taxonomy. The focus of the course is on using the Stace identification keys, which can be demanding for non-botanists, but Mark Duffell is a good and patient tutor.


Using a Flora at Preston Montford, starting July 09, 2015


Introduction to Sedges at Preston Montford, starting July 07, 2015

Excellent course. I did fill in the review document in my room and left it there


Introduction to Sedges at Preston Montford, starting July 07, 2015

Very challenging. A well planned day, obviously well prepared for. I learned a lot - not least that there's a lot more to learn!


Seaweeds at Millport, starting July 03, 2015

A very enjoyable course with a knowledgable tutor. It is excellent for beginners, offers an interesting range of locations on the island and covers much information about the world of seaweeds from microscopic details to keeping a herbarium.I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in natural history who would like to add interest to seashore walks.


Chalk and Limestone Grassland Moths at Juniper Hall, starting July 03, 2015

Excellent Tutor who encouraged and cajoled until we got the right identifications. I learnt a lot that way.


Chalk and Limestone Grassland Moths at Juniper Hall, starting July 03, 2015

An immersive and absorbing course. I learned so much!


Marine Microbiology at Millport, starting June 29, 2015

This course struck the perfect balance of lectures, lab practical sessions and fieldwork on the shore and boat. It covered everything I am likely to need for work, and gave me food for thought for future study opportunities.


Wild Flowers and Coastal Plants of the Orchid Isle at Millport, starting June 28, 2015

Excellent course with expert guidance and tuition


Wild Flowers of the Limestone - the Flora of Llanymynech at Preston Montford, starting June 27, 2015

This was my first FSC course and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I learned a lot in an informal atmosphere that was pitched just right. The course was well organised and the knowledge of the botanist, Fiona, was impressive. I am now keen to attend more such courses.


Wild Flowers of the Limestone - the Flora of Llanymynech at Preston Montford, starting June 27, 2015

Very good day out. I really enjoyed it.


Aquatic Plants at Kindrogan, starting June 26, 2015

very good course and centre. Would have been happy to stay another week!!


Aquatic Plants at Kindrogan, starting June 26, 2015

Superb value. Extremely knowledge and patient tutor. We were able to see more than 50% of all British Aquatics. We saw some very beautiful parts of Perthshire. Excellent keys that really work even for the most difficult genera.


Habitat Conservation for Insects at Epping Forest, starting June 20, 2015

Very good course and tutor training. Good experience in the field within Epping Forest and a good selection of handouts to take away so the information is not lost/forgotten.


Identifying the Sedges and their Allies at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting June 19, 2015

Great centre for this course with a diverse range of habitats and species close by. Another jam-packed weekend led by a tutor with a common sense and honest approach to field ID.


Identifying the Sedges and their Allies at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting June 19, 2015


Identification of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes @ The Green Cen at Epping Forest, starting June 13, 2015

Excellent presentations and handouts and most instructive and useful field sessions. A thoroughly worthwhile 2-days and the Green Centre at Wat Tyler Country Park was a very suitable venue for this course.


Wild Flowers of Chalk Grasslands at Amersham, starting June 13, 2015


Identifying Difficult Higher Plants at Preston Montford, starting June 12, 2015

Balance between lectures and fieldtrips was just right.


Introduction to Bumblebees and Solitary Bees at Preston Montford, starting June 12, 2015

Excellent tutor (Ian Cheesborough). In spite of the poor weather he was able to put together a mixture of presentations, microscope work and field trips. I learned loads and now feel confident to start recording bees.


Introduction to Grasses at Preston Montford, starting June 09, 2015

Excellent course. very well structured and presented. Good handouts


Introduction to Wild Flowers in Bushy Park at London, starting June 06, 2015

Good course, although I would have preferred to spend more time in the park, and discuss differences in wild flowers rather than just spotting the flowers. I found it was less introductory than originally led to believe. Talking about the individual differences, and perhaps the evolutionary reasons behind why the wild flowers are the way they are would have been helpful. I enjoyed the course, and would recommend to others


Top 10 Plant Families at Preston Montford, starting June 06, 2015

Enthusiastic, likeable and knowledgeable presenter but poorly organised. Handouts arrived in dribs and drabs, and poor time planning meant insufficient time to consider all familiies


Top 10 Plant Families at Preston Montford, starting June 06, 2015


Introduction to Bumblebees at Preston Montford, starting June 06, 2015

A good practical introduction to identifying bumble bees in the field


Wild Orchids of South East England at Juniper Hall, starting June 05, 2015


Introducing Grass Identification and Ecology at Flatford Mill, starting June 05, 2015


Wild Flowers for Beginners: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 29, 2015

Alanna was a very good tutor and the course covered some good basic ground. However, I feel like the course is not advertised well enough to give people a realistic expectation of what the content and pace is. They are very long and intense days. I felt held back significantly by others on the course as they signed up without a realistic idea of what the course was like.


Wild Flowers for Beginners: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 29, 2015


Bumblebees and Solitary Bees at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting May 29, 2015

Great centre and location - would visit this centre again. Excellent food and very handy for the train station. A really good tutor, I now feel much more confident about bumblebee ID and have made progress with solitary bees (and realise how much more there is to know). Good balance of field work/talks and microscope work. Highly recommended for someone who is a beginner or with some limited knowledge


Bumblebees and Solitary Bees at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting May 29, 2015

Excellent teaching, venue and fieldtrip locations.


Plant Identification Using the Vegetative Key at Preston Montford, starting May 26, 2015

The course is too short to get to grips with the complex key Not suitable for beginers


Wild Flowers for Beginners: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 26, 2015

Loved the detail. Great group. Great food. Heaps of fun!


Wild Flowers for Beginners: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 26, 2015

At the beginning of the Wild Flower course some of the botanical terms were a bit overwhelming, but they were explained clearly; I used a microscope for the first time ever, and was amazed at the detail it was possible to see through the magnifying lens - things I had never known about or noticed before. We were given the tools (handouts, book recommendations etc) to carry on afterwards to be able to use what we were taught and shown with such enthusiasm - a valuable introduction, thank you.


Butterfly and Moth Identification at Blencathra, starting May 24, 2015

Blencathra was a great location,ample food, clean comfortable, conditions, wonderful views. The course was very interesting, shower dodging, we managed to see all bar one of the target butterfly species and many moths which were new to me. However,there was a lot of minibus travel involved, as most of the best sites were in the south lakes. The FSC should consider running a similar course from their Grange over Sands centre, which would minimise this.


Identifying Bumblebees at Flatford Mill, starting May 22, 2015

An informative and in depth course. All aspects of identification and ecology covered well.


Birds of the North Wales Coast, Woodlands and Uplands at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting May 22, 2015

Excellent leader, especially good teaching of bird songs and calls.


ARC Reptiles and Amphibians at Preston Montford, starting May 22, 2015

almost completely new to reptiles and amphibians but this was an excellent introduction and has inspired me to joint ARC .


Trees and Tree Identification in Summer at Flatford Mill, starting May 22, 2015

I'm amazed how many different trees we identified during the course - working together, using the keys and handouts provided, and hand magnifying lens. These are enabling me to continue after the course, trying to identify trees myself; I am now noticing details I had not looked at before. An excellent introduction, delivered with knowledge and enthusiasm. Flatford Mill is a lovely venue too. Thank you.


Spring Birds at Dale Fort, starting May 18, 2015

Just enough information, aimed at all levels, fantastic food.


Spring Birds at Dale Fort, starting May 18, 2015

Very good course. Bob and Annie were very patient and understanding.


Spring Birds at Dale Fort, starting May 18, 2015

Pembrokeshire has a touch of magic, whatever the weather; when the sun shines, it’s stunning … and it provides wonderful birds and flowers! The course tutors were informative and humorous, and judged their customers’ levels well. The Centre support staff member worked tirelessly to sort issues – and she was fun to have with us. It was a restorative few days – I would have liked it to last longer.


Moths in Bushy Park at London, starting May 16, 2015

The course was well organised and the location was great. The shining star has to be the tutor who was engaging, articulate and extremely knowledgeable. I would recommend this course to anyone.


Moths in Bushy Park at London, starting May 16, 2015

Excellent training course, fantastic course leader! Only downside was the price, £35 seemed quite expensive for what we received. Maybe that price would be better for an evening course that involves moth trapping.


Spring Wild Flowers in Greenwich Park at London, starting May 16, 2015


Limestone Woodland Flowers at Llynclys at Preston Montford, starting May 16, 2015

Good course, good tutor, good site .... what's not to like? A really enjoyable day.


Phase 1 Habitat Surveys for Site Assessments and Environment at Flatford Mill, starting May 15, 2015

Making the booking was easy with a helpful and knowledgeable member of staff on the other end of the phone. The room was clean as was the en-suite bathroom. To be housed in such an old building was a bonus. The field centre staff were all helpful and polite, and the food was excellent. The course itself was very involving and packed a lot into its duration. The tutor was most helpful with a wealth of knowledge and information, he certainly knew the subject inside out. It was a weekend well spent, giving me valuable experience; excellent value for money.


NVC: Woodlands at Kindrogan, starting May 15, 2015

Great course with a superb instructor who nows both the subject and how to put it accross, all backed up with fantastic local sites for field visits.


Dales Spring Wild Flowers at Malham Tarn, starting May 15, 2015


Ancient Woodland Plants at Preston Montford, starting May 12, 2015

Another very useful day with Mark as usual giving clear and detailed information about Ancient Woodland Indicator species. Looking forward to the Grasses day next month.


Ancient Woodland Plants at Preston Montford, starting May 12, 2015


Introducing Bird Songs: Mainly Migrants at Flatford Mill, starting May 10, 2015

Superb little course. Edward covered so much in a short while, with great tips on how to recognise each song. We covered practically all the major resident birds you would expect. Good food and a great location.


Lichen Identification at Kindrogan, starting May 04, 2015

The follow on course was very well designed and presented to take lichen enthusiasts through all the stages required to identify them and all participants on the course were using full keys to identify examples collected on the daily excursions to lichen habitats. The food, labs and surrounding countryside at Kindrogan were excellent


Lichen Identification at Kindrogan, starting May 04, 2015

An intense course, involving both work at the microscope and in the field. A great deal of ground was covered with expert guidance and everyone who attended gained a great deal from the experience. Hints and tips abound and the study of Lichens, as a result, becomes far less daunting. This is a quality course to be recommended to anyone who seriously wishes to pursue an interest in these fascinating organisms. A great deal of preparation had gone into the course and it is presented very well indeed. On the downside, a hint of nepotism could be detected, however this does not detract from a 5 star rating.


Lichen Identification at Kindrogan, starting May 04, 2015

An excellent course...the lab work and outdoor visits were very useful and informative. Rebecca is an excellent tutor. I have attended several of the FSC lichen courses and would like to attend more at intermediate/advanced level. The FSC staff were friendly and very helpful.


Discovering Bats at Epping Forest, starting May 03, 2015

Excellent course covering all the basics of bat ecology. A real good identification session and info on recognising bats in the field. Lots of interesting information and amusing anecdotes. With a free bat id chart and an evening meal thrown in, it was superb value


Birds in the Shropshire Springtime at Preston Montford, starting May 01, 2015

An excellent weekend of birding and getting to grips with bird song, particularly getting the hear some of the lesser common species (for me anyway), e.g. garden warblers, lesser whitethroat and common redstart. The tutor was challenged in setting the itinerary as Saturday was very wet and cool, but Allan used his local knowledge for us to get the best out of the day. Good sessions after the day's birding to clarify bird songs from recordings to help differentiate between species that have very similar songs.


Scottish Spring Birds, Flowers and Butterflies at Kindrogan, starting May 01, 2015

An excellent week in very varied locations, seeing a huge number of species. The tutor was extremely knowledgeable as well as being great fun.


Introduction to Lichens at Kindrogan, starting May 01, 2015

The course was very well designed and presented to take lichen enthusiasts through all the stages required to identify them and all participants on the course were using full keys to identify examples collected on the daily excursions to lichen habitats.


Introduction to Lichens at Kindrogan, starting May 01, 2015

An excellent introductory course, well organized and presented to a high standard by a dedicated and highly respected Lichenologist. A firm foundation was acquired by all, kick starting their journey into the study of Lichens. Highly recommended.


Introduction to Lichens at Kindrogan, starting May 01, 2015

Excellent course, well structured.Rebecca Yahr is a great tutor I learnt so much, hope to do the intermediate course soon, thank you.


Identifying Bryophytes for Conservation and Recording at Preston Montford, starting May 01, 2015

A thorough course with excellent field days and very helpful sessions at the Centre. Excellent tuition, materials and guidance. The course was billed as an advanced course but not all course members had bryophyte experience so the bryophyte content was not as extensive as it might have been. Having said that, I definitely needed the revision.


Identifying Grasses in Spring at Juniper Hall, starting May 01, 2015

Excellent consolidation. What at first appeared to be a rather unusual strucutre worked extremely well and I frequently return to my notes/resources made during the weekend.


Biological Recording Core Module at Preston Montford, starting May 01, 2015


Biological Recording Core Module at Preston Montford, starting May 01, 2015

A packed weekend. Very well delivered and structured. It's a shame there isn't a library at Preston Montford. The wifi and hot water are a bit erratic.


Botany for Beginners at Preston Montford, starting April 28, 2015

An excellent course which does not assume any previous knowledge. The teaching is clear, focussed, and well supported by handouts. Copies of Stace and Rose were available for use on the day, but it is worth taking your own. Likewise loupes. The staff at Preston Montford are most welcoming - and the afternoon cake delicious!


Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound in Queen Elizabeth Olym at London, starting April 26, 2015

Excellent course. Tutor was great. Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and answered all questions fully and didn't make complete begineers feel awkward about not knowing the basics


Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound in Queen Elizabeth Olym at London, starting April 26, 2015

Very good beginners course in birds identification. We saw around 30species of bird and recorded these on a bird monitoring website. I would recommend that because in the field a number of bird songs are mixing together, it may be worth having recordings played in the classroom as a recap.


An Introduction to Bats and their Natural History in Bushy P at London, starting April 25, 2015

This course was a delight to attend. I wanted to learn about bats as part of professional development for ecological job roles. It was practical and excellent experience in using bat detectors. Roger's passion was thoroughly contagious and I left the course with an interest in bats. The course really did strike a great balance between scientific detail and accessibility for all. I really enjoyed seeing the live bats in the classroom and learning how to differentiate between species using the bat detectors in the evening. Also, considering Rogers great knowledge and experience, it was exceptionally reasonably priced. Everything about this course was fascinating and useful. In all honesty I can't recommend it enough. Many thanks Alex Morley


Introduction to Dragonfly Larvae at Preston Montford, starting April 25, 2015

Excellent course - very worthwhile, especially the Exuviae section


Introduction to Dragonfly Larvae at Preston Montford, starting April 25, 2015

Excellent day led by a very knowledgeable tutor.


Working Towards a Great Crested Newt Licence at Preston Montford, starting April 24, 2015

A very informative and ejoyable course. It was well structured, and even though I already had some previous experience of amphibian surveys, I learnt new survey techniqes and ways to identify the different species and genders of newts.


Working Towards a Great Crested Newt Licence at Preston Montford, starting April 24, 2015

An excellent course, with lots of hands-on experience and practice in the field. It has increased my confidence in identifying the different species, and there were lots of opportunities to carry out surveys and try out the various methods.


Working Towards a Great Crested Newt Licence at Preston Montford, starting April 24, 2015

Excellent course, excellent facilities and food. First class tuition. I look forward to the bat course!


Moth Trapping for Beginners at Preston Montford, starting April 24, 2015

Just a few words to say thanks for my stay at Preston Montford. The course was excellent with Dave Grundy the perfect host. The centre is really good. I got a warm welcome with really friendly staff. The food was excellent with loads of options and of a high standard. I'm sure I Will be back in the future. Regards Ron


Great Crested Newts Training Day at Epping Forest, starting April 19, 2015


Lichens of Pembrokeshire at Orielton, starting April 10, 2015

Had an excellent time. The tutors were very knowledgeable and helpful. Very enjoyable course with interesting field visits to different environments.Enjoyed staying at the centre with the friendly staff. Fabulous day trip to Skomer island.


Phase 1 Habitat Surveys for Site Assessments and Environment at Flatford Mill, starting April 08, 2015

Fantastic setting, brilliant tutor and really helped me understand how a relatively simple surveying methodology can be adapted for complex sites. Highly recommended. Thank you Jonny for sharing your knowledge.


Recognising Birds by Sight, Song and their Calls in a Divers at Flatford Mill, starting April 07, 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed this course. All the habitas we visited enabled us to see a wide variety of birds, including a couple of lifetime 'firsts' for us. We picked up lots of tips on how to identify birds by their songs and calls, which will give us plenty to build on. We sometimes felt that there wasn't quite enough time between breakfast and the departure of the minibus, although we appreciate that we had to pack a lot of birding into each day. Thanks very much to Steve and the others for a great course!


Recognising Birds by Sight, Song and their Calls in a Divers at Flatford Mill, starting April 07, 2015

It was brilliant.


Online Plant Identification Course 2015 at Fsc Head Office, starting April 01, 2015

I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who wants to get into botany and has a bit of spare time to devote to it. You have to go out and find your own plants, but that is the biggest learning experience of all. The tutor I had was very knowledgeable and helpful.


Discovering British Woodland Mammals at Epping Forest, starting March 28, 2015

Practical work good - using long worth traps and dissecting owl pellets; walk unproductive and a waste of valuable time; classroom session lacking in clear and detailed information.


Recognising Birds by Sight and Sound: Especially for Improve at Flatford Mill, starting March 27, 2015

Great weekend - the instructor was excellent and I learnt a lot, the accommodation and food were both good and the centre staff were all really friendly.


Ecology, Conservation, Surveying and Recording of British Am at Flatford Mill, starting March 27, 2015

Duncan is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about all wildlife. Saw some species I have never seen 'in the flesh' before but missed opportunity to see some in the wild as time of year/weather was not ideal....something that should be considered when running this course in the future. Would have been nice to have done some more hands on practical stuff but appreciate health and safety implications and varying knowledge of participants make this difficult.


Identifying Mosses and Liverworts at Preston Montford, starting March 27, 2015

The course was excellent and the tutor very knowledge and passionate about bryophytes. I do think this is a challenging area for beginners and the classroom test was very difficult for people with virtually no prior knowledge of bryophytes. I stayed offsite because I do not think the onsite facilities are adequate, but I did have meals at the centre and I think the food is truly appalling. I am vegetarian and find these choices in particular very disappointing: vegetables are overcooked and smothered in sauces or pastry. Not enough protein is included (eg pulses or soy protein). The lunch time bread rolls are of a poor quality and for vegetarians the only option available is cheese, which, if staying for a 3 or 4 day course, is very boring and high in saturated fats.


Gardening for Wildlife at Flatford Mill, starting March 23, 2015

Excellent informative course


Woodland and Forest Birdsong at Epping Forest, starting March 22, 2015

Very enjoyable and informative day course covering both 'live' birds in the forest and the use of recordings. Our tutor taught us the various sound patterns and how to remember them. He also concentrated on birds with similar songs and explained how to tell them apart. Only downside was that the forest was busy with people and vehicle noise which at times made it difficult to hear. Highlight of the day for me was a good view of a lesser spotted Woodpecker


Woodland and Forest Birdsong at Epping Forest, starting March 22, 2015

Really enjoyed this course - the pace and pitch were just right, and the tutor took time to understand the level of knowledge of all of the attendees. I also really liked the centre itself - the staff were helpful and knowledgeable, and the whole thing was relaxed and enjoyable.


Discovering Birds by Sight and Sound at Flatford Mill, starting March 13, 2015


Dipterist Forum at Preston Montford, starting February 20, 2015

An excellent meeting - as usual for Dipterists Forum. We had excellent instructions on how to identify Acalypterate families and some of the species of the smaller families. I took 12 drawers of Liverpool Museum relevant diptera specimens to help with identification. Also several mis-identified specimens in the collection were reliably re-identified, which always helps to maintain and improve the quality of the Museum's diptera collection. The handouts and screen illustrations were of the usual high standards.


Winter Tree Identification at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting February 13, 2015

A fantastic course. I don't usually leave online reviews but the tutor was extremely good and made the information massively accessible (using analogies and avoiding jargon), plus the space and staff were also great. One of those weekends where you learn as much as you usually do in quite a long time. From basic tips I had no idea about like identifying each year's growth on young twigs by their bud scale scars to telling particular species apart and working through the keys, there was a lot packed in. The knowledge is not just useful in winter, too. Now I can identify walnut (juglans regia) because their leaf scars can look like a praying mantis face or ET's head, and hazel (corylus avellana) from its small 'red lollipop' hairs each with a round red gland at the tip. Worth it for the walnut thing on its own really but seriously an incredibly useful weekend and now I feel confident with pretty much all of the more or less thirty species we concentrated on.


Winter Tree Identification at Preston Montford, starting February 03, 2015


Introduction and Guide to Common Fungi at Epping Forest, starting October 05, 2014

Useful course, but rather limited in time available. Lunch took too long.


Natural History of Hedgerows at Epping Forest, starting September 13, 2014


An Introduction to Bats and their Natural History at London, starting September 06, 2014

Roger is a bit of a character. Think almost too much information covered. As an introduction maybe concentrate on certain aspects and skim or leave out others. Would be good to concentrate on actual ID so possibly concentrate on species local to area course is taught at. Enjoyed the bat walk at the end and absolutely brilliant seeing the live bats.


Land Mammal Identification at Preston Montford, starting August 29, 2014

A very interesting course, with lots of practical experience. Several excursions around the site included small mammal trapping and hunting for tracks and signs. The course inspired me to join my local mammal group and it has been my favorite MMU/FSC module so far.


Site Assessment Using Invertebrates at Preston Montford, starting August 29, 2014

GReat course and great fieldtrip location


Late Summer Limestone Flowers at Llanymynech at Preston Montford, starting August 27, 2014


Practical Microscopy: Making Whole Mounts of Insects at Flatford Mill, starting August 19, 2014

An excellent course for anyone interested in pond life. We also mounted some spider parts in thick mounts to avoid flattening them. I learnt a lot from other course members. A great venue.


The Fern Guide at Blencathra, starting August 17, 2014

Fascinating course. I knew next to nothing about ferns before this course, but now feel much more knowledgeable. Excellent tutor with good sense of humour.


Urban Botany at London, starting August 09, 2014

Dr Mark Spencer is a fantastic teacher - I learnt so much on this day course. Please have more courses in Regent's Park.


Butterflies and Moths at Malham Tarn, starting July 28, 2014


Butterflies and Moths at Malham Tarn, starting July 28, 2014

An interesting course, let down a little by the weather as not many butterflies were flying that week! The nightly moth traps allowed close inspection and familiarity with the common/local species. A downside of the course was that many of the attendees were experienced and a main aim was to hunt for some of the rarer species, which involved some long trips out in the minibus. I would have been happier staying close to the centre and learning to identify some of the more common species. Perhaps survey methods could also be included?


Butterflies and Moths at Malham Tarn, starting July 28, 2014

I would agree with the other reviewer that this was perhaps not the ideal course for a new/inexperienced moth-er and could have been enhanced by considering surveying techniques. However,the travelling was mainly to butterfly sites. The day when we saw 3 different fritillaries at the same site, where habitat management to help butterflies had been in place made the travel worthwhile and was one of my best natural history experiences.


Introduction to Freshwater Invertebrates at Malham Tarn, starting July 28, 2014

Really good tuition and well-balanced between field work and microscope work. It was great that we spent lots of time around the tarn as we didn't waste time in minibuses. I learnt loads and have used this knowledge a lot already. Well worth it. The food at the centre was a bit erratic, but mostly good (apart from the lack of fresh coffee at breakfast).


Identifying Non-Native Invasive Plants at London, starting July 26, 2014

Fascinating course - altered the way I look at a lot of the plants around me. Dr Mark Spencer has totally first rate knowledge and powers of communication. Would do this course again of it was offered.


Advanced Techniques for Studying Bats: An Introduction at Slapton Ley, starting July 25, 2014


Identification of Marshland Plants at Slapton Ley, starting July 21, 2014

Course lacked structure. "Marshland" is not a good descripto as I had expected some saltmarsh rather than fen habitats.


Identifying Leafhoppers at Preston Montford, starting July 18, 2014

Good intro to leafhoppers. Would have liked more time to identify in the lab.


Grasses, Sedges and Rushes at Preston Montford, starting July 18, 2014

The course was well-structured and informative, good for an introduction to the group of grasses, sedges and rushes. However, it would be great if FSC could run courses for grasses, sedges and rushes aimed at those who are confident in the common species, but would like some exposure to keying out the less common/harder species, perhaps in vegetative state also.


Tree Identification in the Lake District National Park at Blencathra, starting July 11, 2014

Excellent location (I was non-residential but wish I'd stayed). This was a new course and may have been refined since. The course involved too much driving for me - but if you didn't know the area, that might be a good thing, and give you a chance to see different areas. We visited Borrowdale, Thirlmere & Whinlatter. A walk to Borrowdale screes to look at succession was a bad idea - path inaccessible for a group - but the marvellous Borrowdale Yews made up for it. All things considered, I'd recommend the May course in Wales with Matt Parratt over this as a better learning experience.


Wild Flowers of the Limestone - the Flora of Llanymynech at Preston Montford, starting June 21, 2014


Introduction to Insects at London, starting June 21, 2014

Enjoyed the practical aspects and seeing species on screen through the microscope. Good as a basic introduction.


Using a Flora at Preston Montford, starting June 20, 2014

A very in-depth course and one that I personally found very difficult, although the tutor was very patient. There were lots of opportunities to work through the key, though I found the terminology confusing and I became frustrated with the text itself. A very hands on course with exposure to lots of different plant groups to become familiar with the key features of each.


Identifying Difficult Invertebrates at Preston Montford, starting June 06, 2014

Great course.


Bat Ecology at Margam Discovery Centre, starting June 06, 2014

Fascinating information well delivered. Great tutor.


Wild Flowers for Beginners: The Top 20 Flower Families at Flatford Mill, starting May 27, 2014


Reptiles and Amphibians at Preston Montford, starting May 16, 2014

Very enjoyable weekend and I achieved my objectives. Highly committed and knowledgeable tutor. Accommodation and food were good. Top marks for afternoon cake!


Big Tree Country: Tree Identification for Improvers at Kindrogan, starting May 11, 2014

I should have done the introductory course, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did and the two courses were interlinked. An enthusiastic tutor extended the tuition to ferns and a few woodland flowers.


Broad-Leaved Trees in the Park at London, starting May 10, 2014


Beetle and Invertebrate Identification at Margam Discovery Centre, starting May 09, 2014


Surveying Terrestrial Invertebrates for Biological Recording at Flatford Mill, starting May 02, 2014

Great introduction for anyone beginning with invertebrates.


An Introduction to Bats and their Natural History at London, starting April 26, 2014

Roger is a bit of a character. Think almost too much information covered. As an introduction maybe concentrate on certain aspects and skim or leave out others. Would be good to concentrate on actual ID so possibly concentrate on species local to area course is taught at. Enjoyed the bat walk at the end and absolutely brilliant seeing the live bats.


Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound: Especially for Improve at Flatford Mill, starting April 15, 2014

Steve Piotrowski definitely knows his birds - and his location. This is his stamping ground when he's not globetrotting, so I'd recommend it wholeheartedly. It got me started with birding, although I've also found the BTO's Malham weekend course equally useful. Go to Suffolk to see specialities of the area and also make time to visit Minsmere (provided Springwatch isn't/hasn't just been there, or encouraging thousands of lookie-loos). I'd go on this again in 2-3 years - think I'd get more out of it once I've more experience - and appreciate it more. Worth the several hours drive to get there. Our group was hard work, but Steve took it in his stride. Try the ringing session too! Good catering and excellent bar (full marks for local Aspall's cider - not dreadful Magners/Bulmers bile). Rooms a bit odd - like living in a model village.


Lichens of Pembrokeshire at Orielton, starting April 10, 2014

A bit overwhelming for a novice. Most of the students arrived with microscopes, equipment and experience for more tuition from the well known and energetic tutor. The field trips were varied and interesting but I think this was not a course for a beginner.


Online Plant Identification Course at Fsc Head Office, starting April 01, 2014

A superb learning opportunity. Written course material concise and clear; tutor attentive and supportive.


Winter Birdwatching Weekend at Flatford Mill, starting February 07, 2014


Getting to Know Conifers at Juniper Hall, starting November 15, 2013


Birdwatching for Near Beginners at Flatford Mill, starting November 01, 2013


Birdwatching for Near Beginners at Flatford Mill, starting November 01, 2013


Autumn Wild Flowers at London, starting September 28, 2013


Identifying Trees in Leaf at Epping Forest, starting September 14, 2013


Natural History of Hedgerows at Epping Forest, starting September 08, 2013


Identifying Fungi at Kindrogan, starting September 06, 2013

Liz Holden is a wonderful teacher. This is a great course for beginners and more experienced students alike.


Coastal Plants at Slapton Ley, starting August 02, 2013


Aquatic Plant Identification: Advanced at Epping Forest, starting July 19, 2013


Discovering the Flora of Chalk Grasslands and Woodlands at Juniper Hall, starting July 12, 2013


Wild Orchids of Scotland at Kindrogan, starting June 25, 2013

An excellent tutor with a lot of patience and a good knowledge of the area. We saw a good range of orchids and a few non-orchids but the hybrids proved difficult.


Wild Orchids of Scotland at Kindrogan, starting June 25, 2013

Great opportunity to see and study many different wild orchids, plus other Perthshire flora.


Hoverflies, Soldierflies and Robberflies: an Introduction to at Flatford Mill, starting June 14, 2013

Excellent course, learnt lots and in a great location too!


Tree Identification at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting May 31, 2013

Superb course in a fab part of the UK. The tutor (Matt Parratt) is the best tree course tutor involved with FSC, blending a mix of social, ecological, historical and global issues plus an immense amount of knowledge and practical tips and cues to help learners. Some serious fell walking required (6-7 miles?) on one of the days, plus long study days to ensure you get maximum from it. Great location to visit Snowdonia, Portmeirion etc. The first time I've enjoyed being in Wales, (and I've tried to, for 40 years).


Trees in the Park at London, starting May 11, 2013


Bird Watching in Bushy Park at London, starting April 13, 2013


Phase 1 Habitat Surveys for Site Assessments and Environment at Flatford Mill, starting April 12, 2013

A good in depth look at Phase 1 surveying. Shame about the weather!


Trees and Tree Identification: The Challenge of Early Winter at Flatford Mill, starting November 30, 2012


Broad-Leaved Trees at Juniper Hall, starting September 21, 2012


Identifying Fungi at Kindrogan, starting September 07, 2012

Liz Holden is a wonderful teacher. This is a great course for beginners and more experienced students alike.


Wild Flower Identification: Using a Flora at Flatford Mill, starting July 23, 2012


Top 20 Families of Flowering Plants at Slapton Ley, starting May 07, 2012

The course was quite hard work with a lot to get through and a focus on the use of floral diagrams. We could have done with more time or less content.


Microscopy for Beekeepers at Flatford Mill, starting May 04, 2012

A very good introduction to microscopy with microscopes and materials provided. Good accommodation and a lovely venue.


Introduction and Guide to Common Fungi at Epping Forest, starting October 02, 2011


Lichens and Lichenicolous Fungi at Slapton Ley, starting August 22, 2011


Introduction to Freshwater Animals at Malham Tarn, starting August 19, 2011


Identifying the Asteraceae at Preston Montford, starting August 19, 2011

Thorough and well structured with good field sites showing an excellent range of species to get to grips with this tricky family.


Fern Identification at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting August 12, 2011

Perfect centre for this course - lots of damp places for ferns to grow! As ever with this centre, a wide range of habitats within easy reach of the centre means that a wide range of species can be demonstrated. The scenery isn't bad either ;o)


Identifying Wild Flowers in High Summer at Flatford Mill, starting July 08, 2011


Site Assessment Using Vegetation at Preston Montford, starting June 17, 2011

A range of potential tools for site assessment using vegetation were skimmed over. Only moderately useful, a more structured approach would have worked better.


Arctic Alpines at Rhyd-y-Creuau, starting May 27, 2011

Excellent - only Kindrogan could rival this as a centre for this course, but the tutor here made it top notch. Superb local knowledge, breath taking scenery. Wonderful course for those wanting to see these beautiful plants in their natural setting.


Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape at Flatford Mill, starting April 15, 2011


Introducing Lichens 2 at Epping Forest, starting April 02, 2011


Introducing Lichens 1 at Epping Forest, starting February 19, 2011


Identification of Macrofungi at Preston Montford, starting October 22, 2010

The course was too slanted towards a qualification.


Identifying Fungi at Flatford Mill, starting October 01, 2010


Grasses, Sedges and Rushes at Preston Montford, starting June 25, 2010

A useful overview and introduction to these tricky groups, but more specific courses will be needed before I can start to feel competent.


Identification and Ecology of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes at Epping Forest, starting June 12, 2010


Identifying Difficult Higher Plants at Preston Montford, starting June 11, 2010

Introduced some important ideas, but rather unsure what it was actually supposed to achieve.


Mosses, Liverworts and Ferns at Epping Forest, starting May 15, 2010


Identifying Bryopthytes for Conservation and Recording at Kindrogan, starting May 07, 2010

Location location location. Knowledgable and friendly tutor, stunning locations - but the centre itself really needed some work on it's customer services.


Difficult Plants at Slapton Ley, starting July 31, 2009


Microscopy for Beekeepers at Flatford Mill, starting May 15, 2009


Grasses, Sedges and Rushes at Malham Tarn, starting July 27, 2007


Beginners Guide to Wild Flowers at Preston Montford, starting July 06, 2007


Using a Flora at Juniper Hall, starting June 08, 2007

Very good


The Juniper Hall Snail Course at Juniper Hall, starting September 30, 2005

Fascinating and instructive course with an extremely knowledgeable tutor.


Using a Flora at Juniper Hall, starting July 29, 2005

Very good


Identifying Butterflies, Moths and Dragonflies at Flatford Mill, starting July 23, 2004


Spring Flowers at Nettlecombe Court, starting April 30, 2004

Unable to attend due to a knee injury


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