This beginner course will provide you with the skills to identify British butterflies and moths correctly. Develop an understanding of their ecology and monitoring techniques.

Comprising of over 2 thousand species in Great Britain alone, moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) play a vital role in our ecosystem and are key indicators of climate change and the health of the environment.

This beginners course will introduce you to British butterflies and moths in a practical and enjoyable way. It will highlight their beauty and diversity and allow you to encounter a selection of local species. You will be introduced to Lepidoptera ecology highlighting their survival strategies, monitoring techniques and assistance from an expert on how to correctly identify different species. During the course, you will have the opportunity to set a moth trap allowing you to discover a diverse range of species, including some rare finds!

This course will include:

    • An introduction to the differences between butterflies and moths and the role they play in the ecosystem
    • Help and advice on ways of observing and recording moths using light sampling techniques
    • Practical workshops to sharpen identification skills

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

    • Confidently identify a range of local species of butterflies and moths
    • Explain the ecology of different species
    • Understand how to observe and monitor Lepidoptera


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, 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.

Tutor: David Brown

David Brown is the Warwickshire County Recorder for Lepidoptera and the author of The Larger Moths of Warwickshire. He has led courses at FSC Centres over a number of years. A lecturer at Birmingham and Warwick Universities Extramural and Open Studies departments for the past 20 years, he is an active field entomologist.

Example Timetable


This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect.

    • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 07:30pm on Friday evening
    • The course will end at 4:00pm on Sunday

Day 1
07:30pm Introductions and classroom session covering: Species we hope to find8:30pm Field demonstration – Setting moth trapsDay 2
9:00am Checking moth traps12:00pm Lunch – not provided1:00pm Classroom session covering: Identification techniques4:00pm Break – refreshments and evening meal not provided
7:00pm Field demonstration – Setting moth traps

Day 2
9:00am Checking moth traps
12:00pm Lunch – not provided
1:00pm Identification Workshop.
3:00pm Butterfly walk around the grounds.
4:00pm End of courseDay 3
9:00am Checking moth traps
12:00pm Lunch – not provided
1:00pm Classroom session covering: Identification techniques; Results and conclusions of our findings
3:00pm Recap and final questions
4:00pm End of course

Please note accommodation, refreshments and an evening meal are not included.

What's Included

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 FSC 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 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.

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:

  • Headtorch (preferably one with a red light setting)

Recommended Literature

  • Field Studies Council Butterfly Guide
  • Chris Manley British Moths and Butterflies - A Photographic Guide
  • Roy Leverton Enjoying Moths
  • Bernard Skinner Colour Identification Guide to the Moths of Great Britain
  • P Waring, M Townend Concise Field Guide to Moths of the British Isles
  • Richard Lewington Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland

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.

Sorry this course booking is closed