Dates are being revised due to Covid-19

Blencathra is a superb location to discover a wide range of flowering plants and ferns that inhabit the diverse environments situated within the beautiful county of Cumbria. During the course you will encounter a wide range of habitats and will have the opportunity to identify a range of flowering plants, both common and rare, that characterize this unique area.

This three-day course aims to explore a range of habitats where a variety of vascular plants and ferns will be encountered. The major habitats that we will explore include: limestone pavement, calcareous grassland, acid and neutral grasslands and mires. We plan to visit some of the richest sites in the area which will include an outing to Sunbiggin Tarn and the Great Asby Scar. We will also visit several other sites of nature conservation interest.

Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on plant identification and there will be opportunities to use floristic keys. For this course, the Collins Flower Guide is a good choice and is probably the most complete guide available with colour illustrations. However, for use in the field, The Wild Flower Key (details below) is a good guide. During the course there will be opportunities to look at other identification keys and guides and other relevant literature.

Tutor: Theo Loizou

Theo Loizou is a an ecological consultant and is currently the Bryophyte Vice-County Recorder for Angus. He has over 20 years’ experience studying the mountain environment.

For this course a moderate level of fitness is essential and participants will be expected to cover up to 8 km a day with ascents of up to about 400m.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport

Before You Attend

Start and finish times

Resident and Non-resident visitors are requested to arrive at the centre between 4-5pm.  Tuition will end at 4pm on the final day.

Extra nights

If you are interested in staying at the Centre for additional nights, before or after the course, please contact the Centre for availability and costs (we can confirm B&B availability 4 weeks prior to the course).

What to bring

  • Lunch Box, vacuum flask
  • Waterproof walking boots and Waterproof clothing
  • Plenty of spare warm clothing including gloves and hats
  • Hand Lens (x10 magnification
  • Small notebook and pencil
  • Towels will be provided but do bring toothpaste, soap, shower gel, hairdryer and own toiletries
  • Rucksack to carry spare clothing and lunch

For your own and group safety, Centre staff reserve the right to refuse to take people out on excursions if they are not properly equipped. If you are unsure of the standard of equipment required, please contact us for advice.  Please see above information for details of any other equipment required as suggested by your Course Tutor.

If you bring any electrical appliance to the Centre it may have to be checked before use.

We have wellingtons (but not waders) and waterproofs available at the centre.

Recommended reading

  • “Collins Flower Guide” David Streeter et al. 1st edn 2010 (has many colour illustrations)
  • “Field Flora of the British Isles” Clive Stace 1st edn 1999 (Published by Cambridge University Press, a good key but few illustrations)
  • “The Wild Flower Key” 2nd edn by Francis Rose (2006) published by Frederick Warne is a favourite of many botanists but some rarer plants are not illustrated.
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