This practical 2-day intermediate course will teach you the fundamentals of using UK Habitat Classification (UKHab) to map and assess a wide-range of commonly encountered habitats.
The UK Habitat Classification (UKHab) has become the industry standard, not least because it is integral to DEFRA’s Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) metric. From ecological consultancy to conservation, this system offers a straightforward yet comprehensive system for mapping habitats and their ecological value.
This course will include:
- Classroom based sessions introducing UKHab: the rationale and the methodology.
- Practical experience out in the field learning to code habitats according to the UKHab field key, using secondary codes to provide additional information.
- Practical experience out in the field of mapping habitats in accordance with UKHab protocols.
- Practical experience in the field identifying plant and tree species indicative of a range of grassland, woodland and scrub habitats and/or other example habitats dependent upon course venue.
- Interpreting habitat data in relation to relevant legislation and policy.
- A chance to meet fellow like-minded people from a range of disciplines.
Interpreting and understanding habitats is the first stage in protecting them. No habitat or species management should be undertaken without first understanding the baseline habitat communities and species present on a site. The UKHab is the perfect tool for this initial assessment.
There will be classroom-based presentations, activities and discussions to introduce the potential applications of UKHab and the methodology.
As much time as possible will be spent in the field, where you will become increasingly independent in classifying and mapping a wide-range of commonly encountered habitats, as well as linear habitats such as hedgerows and smaller point features. There will be a mix of direct tuition, whole group discussion, and practice independently or in small teams.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Understand the potential applications of UKHab.
- Understand the UKHab methodology, including the field key.
- Plan a thorough and efficient UKHab field survey.
- Categorise and map a wide range of commonly encountered habitats using primary and secondary codes.
- Understand how to interpret habitat data in relation to relevant legislation and policy.
Although we can provide printed copies of the field key, it would be helpful for you to access the UKHab materials in advance of the course. Notably the key and habitat descriptions can be obtained for free and saved on a smart phone or tablet from www.ukhab.org. Please contact us if you have any issues.
Who should attend? – although anyone who wishes to develop their understanding of plants and habitats is welcome, the following may find the course particularly helpful: graduates, ecological consultants, environmental managers, wardens, rangers, Wildlife Trusts, land managers, rangers, statutory agency staff, conservation practitioners, students, local authority staff.
Knowledge level – Intermediate. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors
Prior knowledge – although no habitat survey experience is necessary, working Botany skills are required for this course. Our ‘Discovering Botany‘ and/or ‘Practical Introduction to Botany’ courses are recommended prerequisites.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation, refreshments, or meal facilities provided with this course. 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
Laurie Wildwood is a professional Ecological Consultant and botany tutor who, with his refreshing approach, aims to inspire adults and children to explore and appreciate the natural world. His professional background is in ecology, conservation and habitat management.
This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect.
- Please arrive in time for your course to start promptly at 10:00
- The course days will end at 17:00
10:00-10:45 - An introduction to the UKHab methodology
Be able to understand how the UKHab works, how to recognise different habitat types, how to classify them using both primary and secondary codes and build understanding of UKHab mapping protocols.
10:45-11:00 - Tea break
11:00-12:30 - Woodland species and habitats covered by the UKHab
Build awareness of indicator species for different woodland and scrub habitats. Become familiar with the UKHab key to accurately determine the habitat type.
Understand the basic anatomy and terminology for the identification of trees and shrubs.
Introduce and explore a range of useful botanical identification resources for trees and shrubs.
12:30-13:00 - Lunch
13:00-16:00 - Field session to explore broadleaved, coniferous and mixed woodland, and scrub habitats
This will focus on the identification of UKHab indicator species. There will be guidance and discussion on identifying and mapping boundaries between different habitat parcels.
10:00-13:00 - Grassland species and habitats covered by the UKHab (including a teabreak)
Build awareness of indicator species for different grassland habitats. Become familiar with the UKHab key to accurately determine the habitat type.
Introduce and explore a range of useful botanical identification resources.
13:00-13:30 - Lunch
13:30-16:45 - Field session to explore other habitats including hedgerows and water bodies
This will focus on the identification of UKHab indicator species. There will be guidance and discussion on identifying and mapping boundaries between different habitat parcels. You will also spend this time consolidating your learnings.
16:45-17:00 - Questions / Debrief
Please note - accommodation, refreshments and an evening meal are not included.
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
You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.
Bursaries and Subsidies
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, read more here.
Before You Attend
What to bring:
- Desirable to bring any personal field equipment you have such as a hand lens, notebook and pencil, botanical ID guide, binoculars and Tupperware/plastic bags for collecting specimens.
- A digital download or print out of UKHAB field key and habitat descriptions, available from the UKHab website. You can register on the website here.
- Please dress appropriately for the weather as much of both days will be spent outdoors in grassland and woodland.
Opportunities to attend this course
This course is not currently available to book. Dates will follow soon.
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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].
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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.