FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Using a Flora

  • NON-RESIDENT: £315

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

The use of a botanical flora is an essential skill for anyone with a serious interest in field botany, whether for survey work or simply as a hobby. Naming plants correctly can be difficult. It's a Buttercup, but which Buttercup? A Crane's-bill, but which Crane's-bill? And as for those little white things, the yellow dandelion-like things, and so on. The answers can be found by using a flora, generally in conjunction with an illustrated field guide. Floras employ identification keys which are very simple in principle but intimidating to the beginner due to the unfamiliar terminology and the frequent use of small, obscure plant characters. A great part of the course will therefore be spent working through keys, allowing you to practise and improve at your own pace. We will find a splendid selection of plants on which to practise in the lovely countryside around Preston Montford.

Mark Duffell has had a lifetime interest in plants, gaining the RHS Diploma in Horticulture and completing an MSc in Biological Recording. He now runs Arvensis Ecology, splitting his time between conducting botanical surveys and teaching botanical identification and survey techniques to undergraduate and postgraduate students, consultancies and environmental organisations.


This is one of a series of courses run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University contributing to the MSc Biological Recording and the University Certificate in Biological Recording and Species Identification. The University Certificate is being discontinued so is no longer open for new registration. Existing certificate students will be able to gain credits in the 2018/19 academic year. To gain university credits you must be registered for the Masters programme in advance of this course. For further details please contact:

The Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology Manchester Metropolitan University. E-mail: [email protected]

There is assessment of the course through, for example, identification tests, producing survey reports or field journals, working through keys and other various pieces of work.

The course is also suitable for non-credit students and for those enrolling on the new certificate course with FSC. For further details on this course please contact FSC Head Office at [email protected]

Further Information

Course Leaflet
About Preston Montford
Directions to Preston Montford

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken.

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