FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Limestone Flora

  • NON-RESIDENT: £235

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken. Explore our current programme of courses here

The limestone habitats of the Yorkshire Dales National Park harbour many species characteristic of base-rich conditions. Such calcicole species as blue moor grass (Sesleria caerulea), birds-eye primrose (Primula farinosa) and limestone fern (Gymnocarpium robertianum) are typical of many sites around Malham. This course aims to explore this specialist flora amid the magnificent Craven scenery. We will visit a variety of local habitats to gain experience of using keys and identifying a wide range of species in the field. We will concentrate on several important plant families including ferns, grasses and sedges. The emphasis during the day will be on identification in the field and a proposed programme for this includes: Friday (eve): Local walk around the Centre after supper for limestone pavement and views Saturday: Grassington for woodland and grasslands Sunday: Limestone pavements around Ingleborough NNR Monday: Base-rich flushes and fens at Malham Evenings will mainly be spent in the classroom to practise using keys, use microscopes to help confirm the identification of a few more difficult species, and understand why limestone supports such a specialist flora. There will be an identification test on Monday afternoon for participants who are working towards the University certificate in Biological Recording and Species Identification.

We are currently accepting non-resident bookings only for this course. There is a wealth of alternative accommodation provided locally; please click here for more details. If accommodation space becomes available for this course, we will inform all non-resident bookers immediately and update the course page.

Non-resident course attendees are provided with all meals and refreshments throughout the course with the exception of breakfast. Your course day may commence from 9am and evening sessions may continue until approximately 9pm.


Dr Ian Powell is a former ecology tutor with the FSC at Slapton Ley and on overseas courses to South America. He now teaches undergraduate and masters courses in conservation biology at Edge Hill University and carries out botanical and butterfly surveys and research in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. 


This course is part of the Biological Recording programmes run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). There is assessment of learning on the course through, for example, identification tests, producing survey reports or field journals, working through keys and other various pieces of work.

Credits from these assessments contribute towards the University Certificate in Biological Recording and Species Identification and the MSc Biological Recording. To gain University Credits you must register in advance.

To do this, please contact the Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, Manchester Metropolitan University (Shrewsbury Office),The Gateway, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 1NB Telephone: 01743 355137 E-mail: [email protected] For more information about the course please visit the MMU website: http://www.sste.mmu.ac.uk/recording/ The course is also suitable for non-credit students.

Further Information

About Malham Tarn
Directions to Malham Tarn
Limestone Flora course leaflet 2018

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken. Explore our current programme of courses here.

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