Late summer is a good time to turn our attention to identifying the broad-leaved trees. Soon they will start to transform our landscapes into a blaze of colour. Now is the time to learn what we can from the foliage and fruits, before we have to rely on twig formation and winter silhouettes to help us identify these important members of our natural heritage.

This weekend botanical course is concerned with the identification of, in particular, our native broad-leaved trees. Much of the weekend will be spent in the vicinity of Juniper Hall sorting through specimens and getting to grips with the terminology of the different shapes of leaves and the structure and classification of fruits. We shall also practise working with different keys to identification.

This week-end is suitable for beginners as well as improvers and all those who love trees. No previous knowledge is assumed.


This is one of a series of courses (Units) run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University contributing to the MSc Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring and the Postgraduate Certificate in Biological Recording. To gain university credits you must be registered for the programme in advance of this course. For further details please contact:

Department of Natural Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, (Shrewsbury Office). E-mail: [email protected]

The Unit will be assessed through, for example, identification tests, survey reports, field journals, production of keys, essays or other forms of assessment.

If you are aged 18-25, you are eligible for a £50 discount thanks to the Generation Green project, click here to find out more.

Tutor: Ros Bennett

Ros Bennett is a botanist and ecologist. She was formerly a full time tutor at Flatford Mill (another FSC Field Centre) and then organiser and leader of courses for FSC Overseas. She has written books on flowers and teaches courses on plant identification to both amateurs and professionals.

Please note, the fee is for tuition, packed lunch and refreshments only.

If you would like to book accommodation and an evening meal at FSC Juniper Hall, please email [email protected]

Example Timetable

Start and finish times

Residential guests are welcome to arrive, register and settle into rooms any time between 15.30pm and 17.30pm on Friday. Non-residents should aim to be here by 17.30pm. Afternoon tea will be served at 16.00pm. A short welcome talk will take place at 18.30pm. You will then be shown into dinner at 18.45pm.

The course will begin with a classroom session after supper and will finish with afternoon tea at approximately 16.00pm on Sunday.


The course starts after dinner on the first day with a classroom session that can be expected to end at 21.30pm.

The morning will include a classroom session followed by a field session on site. After lunch there will be a walk in the hilly landscape surrounding Juniper Hall focusing on the different species of trees and shrubs that can be found on the chalk. There will be another classroom session after dinner.

In the morning, the group will travel by minibus to Bookham Common to explore woodland on the wet Wealden Clay for a different variety of species. Lunch will be back at the centre followed by the accreditation exam (open also, informally, to non-credit-seeking participants). This will last about 1hr 30mins. We will end the course discussing how the test went until 16.00pm.

Accrediting Agency

Manchester Metropolitan University

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Lunch

Bursaries and Subsidies

If you are aged 18-25, you are eligible for a £50 discount thanks to the Generation Green project, click here to find out more.

Before You Attend

Please bring the following with you if you can:

  • Hand lens (x10 magnification) - can be borrowed from the Centre.
  • Appropriate casual clothing.
  • Stout shoes or boots (wellies can be borrowed from the Centre).
  • Waterproofs (just in case!) – these can be borrowed from the Centre.
  • Small rucksack or bag.
  • Lunchbox.
  • Water bottle and/or thermos flask.
  • Notepad and pens.
  • Binoculars if you have them.
  • Clear plastic ruler (available to borrow from the centre).