Woodlands include a wide range of our native plant groups – this course aims to introduce the most common plants in these groups and to help you begin to recognise them in the field.

This beginner course will introduce you to the most common plant groups and species found in native woodlands. We will be looking at a wide range of species groups, including trees, shrubs, smaller plants including a few common mosses and liverworts.

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The course will be delivered both in a classroom setting and out in the field, with our expert tutor helping you build identification skills, and also touching on the stories these plants tell about the environment in which they are found.

The course will combine the identification of species on local sites and looking at pot-grown species, to cover a wide breadth of species you may come across.

What will be covered during this course?

  • Introduction to common plant groups found in native woodland
  • The importance of woodland plants
  • How to identify some of the most common woodland plant

By the end of the course:

  • Participants will leave the course feeling confident about a good range of woodland species and an awareness of the stories that some of them are telling about the woodlands in which they are found.

Who Should Attend? – This course is targeted at anyone who is interested in learning more about this area of natural history.

Knowledge Level – Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge – Some idea of woodland plant species will help but is not a requirement for the course.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation or meal facilities included in the course price. Refreshments (tea and coffee) is available. If we are unable to reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 4-5 weeks prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

About the Tutor

Sally Peacock

Sally’s interest in natural history began at an early age but was fanned into flames by involvement in leading groups in the hills and mountains of the UK as a teacher. This led to a fascination with the plants of the UK, so that seeing plants when out walking is like seeing old friends.

Example Timetable

Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00am.
There will be a one-hour lunch break during the day. Lunch is not included so please bring your own food. Lunch may be taken out in the field whilst visiting field sites. Refreshments (tea and coffee) will be provided when at the Centre.
The course will finish at 5pm.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you continue to build and develop your knowledge and apply it within the field surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The course includes:

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression
  • Refreshments (tea and coffee)

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing an FSC course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Natural History Bursaries

There are a number of natural history bursaries available to help with the cost of your course. To find out if you and your chosen course are eligible, find out more here.


Before You Attend

What to Bring:

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Small bag to carry personal items
  • Your own reference book(s) if you have them
  • Hands lens if you have one

Recommended Literature

If you have a plant key, such as Francis Rose’s book of the Collins Wild Flower Guide, please bring it.


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

Opportunities to attend this course

  • Sat 27, April 2024 10:00 - 17:00

    If you would like to book accommodation and meals at Nettlecombe Court, please email [email protected]. Please note the Centre may not be able to guarantee accommodation and meals during this course.

    South West
    Sally Peacock

No current dates for this course? Click here to view all the upcoming Natural History courses.

Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, delivered by expert tutors with an approachable learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in-person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

If you have any questions about our courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions or email [email protected].

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses. Click here to find out more!

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.