This beginner course will introduce you to British trees, exploring tree biology, ecology, and identification.

You will start by looking at the basics of the biological definition of a tree and their place in the plant kingdom. You will then be introduced to the two main types of tree found in the UK (coniferous and broadleaf trees) and will study their key differences, biology and ecology. Finally, you will look at basic identification of the most common tree species you might encounter.

This course will include:

  • Understanding the basic biology and ecology of British coniferous and broadleaf trees. 
  • Learning the different characteristics of common tree species that will allow you to identify them. 
  • Practical experience identifying some of the most common tree species with an expert tutor. 

Read More

By the end of the course, you will be able to: 

  • Understand how trees fit into the plant kingdom, the key differences between broadleaf and conifer trees, and the basic structure of a tree.
  • Understand the basics of tree photosynthesis, life cycles, habitats, niches, and ecosystem services.
  • Recognise by key characteristics some of the most common broadleaf trees.
  • Recognise by key characteristics some of the most common conifer trees.

Who Should Attend? – Nature enthusiasts, students, rangers, early career consultants and ecologists.

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

Prior Knowledge – No existing knowledge or experience is needed for this course, just a willingness to explore and learn.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation or meal facilities provided with this course. Refreshments (tea and coffee) will be 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

This course is delivered by more than one expert tutor. Your tutor will depend on the location of the course you book.

Biliana Deneva

Biliana Deneva has a Masters degree in biology and specialises in botany. She is passionate about everything and anything related to plants. She has experience as a secondary school biology teacher. She hopes to encourage her audience to become more involved with, curious about, and caring for all living organisms on our planet.

Diego Sánchez-Ganfornina

Diego Sánchez-Ganfornina is a botanist and educator with interests in bryology and plant ecology, living and working in Edinburgh. With a passion for nature since an early age, Diego’s knowledge and experience has developed in different countries and habitats. He has participated in a variety of research and education projects over the years and is now informing conservation priorities in arid rangelands in Saudi Arabia; researching several Australasian moss taxa, plus developing and delivering educational activities at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. All projects Diego participates in have a common theme: that of having an immediate impact on the climate crisis, be it through conservation, ecological restoration, education or the raising of public awareness.

Dr Jackie Symmons

Dr Jackie Symmons is an experienced freelance ecologist and conservation land management adviser from Mid Wales. She has an extensive background in delivering conservation field research and training from wild deer impacts to marine and terrestrial environment habitat surveys. She is also currently working in the area of natural resource resilience and climate change mitigation.

Morag Boyd

Morag Boyd is a countryside professional with 30 years experience working in a range of countryside and conservation professions. In a varied career, she has worked in a variety of roles including countryside ranger in various locations, lecturer in countryside management for Elmwood College in Fife, conservation shepherd for the Scottish Wildlife Trust and now she combines a contract with Scottish Badgers, recruiting and training volunteers for the national Get Sett Scottish Badger Survey with freelance work training teachers to take learning outdoors for Learning Through Landscapes. She also runs her own outdoor nature education business, working with schools and community groups to get children outdoors and learning about nature.
Morag has a broad knowledge of many different aspects of ecology and conservation, with particular interests in badgers, of course, trees and woodland management and botany.

Philip Young

Phillip Young blends his passion for nature with professional expertise as a qualified horticulturalist. With over two decades experience, he’s cultivated a deep understanding of habitats and ecological systems; with a particular interest in arboriculture. His career at the Eden Project sees him stewarding 200 acres of land, where he focuses on nurturing biodiversity and sustaining ecosystems. Phillip’s work embodies a harmonious relationship between humanity and the environment.

Example Timetable

Timings of this course vary between locations, so please carefully check the times on the course run (the section where you can add the course to your basket towards the bottom of this page). There will be a lunch break during the day, the length of the break will vary depending on course location. Lunch is not included so please bring your own food. Refreshments (tea and coffee) will be provided.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you build 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/coffee)

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

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, read 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

If you have them:

  • x10 hand lens

Recommended Literature

On booking this course, you will receive a discount code for the below Field Studies Council recommended guide.

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 03, August 2024 10:00 - 17:00

    This course will be held at the Room with a view at the Growing Point Nursery at the Eden Project. Growing Point is located in Eden's Outer Estate. From the main North gate entrance, follow the main road, crossing over the first set of speedbumps/gates and Growing Point is the first turning on your left. If driving in from the East Gate, follow the directions to the YHA, continue up the hill and take the next turn on your right The Venue is unable to offer accommodation with this course, please book local accommodation if you require overnight stays and ensure you take out the appropriate insurance.

    Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, PL24 2SG
    Philip Young
  • Sat 31, August 2024 10:00 - 17:00

    The venue is unable to offer accommodation with this course, please book local accommodation if you require overnight stays and ensure you take out the appropriate insurance.

    Broomlee Centre, Station Road, West Linton, Scotland, EH46 7BU
    Diego Sánchez-Ganfornina

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 out 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. 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.