An introduction to the flowering plants of ponds, lakes and streams. Learn how to observe the characteristics needed to identify and classify them using their key features. Some basic plant knowledge would be useful before joining this course. Course fee includes FSC fold out chart: Guide to Common Water Plants.

Tutor: Fred Rumsey

Fred Rumsey is the British plant specialist at the Natural History Museum with a strong interest in conservation, particularly of cryptogamic plants. He provides expert taxonomic advice to various Taxon and Red-List Groups, sits on IUCN specialist groups and is referee for several families for the BSBI for whom he was a Vice-President. Fred is an ex President of the British Pteridological Society and still acts as their Conservation and recording officer. He is also bryophyte Vice County recorder for N. Hants. Actively involved in the museum's citizen science work he has taught botanical skills from primary to tertiary level and run courses for the FSC at several centres.

Example Timetable

09.30 - Registration
09.45 - Lecture: Learning to observe the structural features needed to identify aquatic plants
10.30 – Practical exercises observing structural features
11.00 - Local field visit - Epping Forest ponds
12.00 – lunch
13.00 - Field trip – Connaught Waters and the Warren Pond
15.30 - discussion & Taking your interest further
16.00 - Course ends

All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may be subject to change according to the weather, requirements of the group or access restrictions to field sites on the day of the course. Our courses include some classroom sessions but field visits may be a few hours long and involve walking over uneven ground.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

What to Bring


  • Sensible clothing for the weather and appropriate footwear.
  • Lunch and Drinks (refreshments are provided).


  • A x20 hand lens.