This beginner course will cover survey methods for both amateur interest and the specialist, as well as veteran trees as a habitat and their historical context in Epping Forest.

Veteran trees are major habitats in themselves stretching back in time. Epping is one of the most important sites with many examples.

During this course, we will explore Epping Forest to look at veteran tree distribution. We will cover how you can survey and record ancient and veteran trees, plus the historical context and management of Epping Forest. Finally, we will consider ancient trees as a habitat, illustrated using certain species/species groups. By the end of this course, you should feel confident in identifying a range of ancient and veteran trees through visual features.

This course takes place situated in the heart of Epping Forest, an area of around 2,400 hectares of wood-pasture, stretching from Manor Park in East London to just north of Epping in Essex.

Please note – there are no accommodation, lunch and or evening meal facilities at Epping Forest.

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Rangers, Early career ecologists.

Knowledge Level

Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge

No existing knowledge, or experience is needed for this course. Just a willingness to explore and learn.

This course will cover:

    • Veteran tree survey methods and practice
    • The value of veteran trees
    • Field visit to view specific trees in Epping Forest
    • The historical context of veteran trees in Epping Forest.

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

    • Survey veteran/ancient trees and contribute to databases
    • Recognise veteran/ancient trees and have an enhanced understanding of their importance.
    • Gain knowledge of Epping Forest trees.
    • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our fantastic tutor will combine the use of classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities to give individuals the skills and confidence to progress their learning.

  • See the ‘Example Timetable’ and ‘What’s Included’ sections below for more information about this course.
  • Upon booking you will need to provide individual details of all attendees
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses.

  • Discounted rates
  • Privately run courses for your group
  • Bespoke courses developed specifically for your needs

Click here to find out more!

If we are unable reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 14 days prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Tutor: Sharon Brown

Sharon Brown is a botanist – geographer currently working as an independent ecologist with habitat assessment and management as a main area of expertise. Over time she has also worked for the Nature Conservancy Council, Scottish Rangering, Wildlife Trusts and latterly as an associate tutor for the FSC. As a naturalist she has a fascination for wild places, as well as the wild in more urban settings and an enthusiasm for passing this to others through practical application.

Book with Confidence

We understand the difficulties of making plans in the current situation when guidelines continue to change, and insurance conditions are being tightened. In response, we will continue to offer additional flexibility. Find out more here

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

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

    • Please arrive at 9:45am in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00am
    • The course will end at 4:300pm
10:00am Introductions
10:30am Classroom session covering:

  • Veteran tree survey methods
  • Veteran tree habitat
11:30am Break and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided 
11:45am Practice of veteran survey methods in Epping Forest
1:00pm Lunch – Not included
2:00pm Wider field visit
4:00pm Classroom plenary and final questions
4:30pm Finish

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

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you continue to build and develop 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 Field Studies Council 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 a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Before You Attend

What to Bring:

    • Notebook and pencil
    • Lunch and refreshments
    • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors

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 has ended