Learn how to identify the most common wildflower species in the UK; an important step in understanding the environment around you and developing your skills. Explore different habitats and uncover the variety of wildflower species specific to certain areas. Learn how to confidently use field guides and identification keys in this beginners botany course.

This course allows you to immerse yourself in the coastal landscape of South Devon and learn how to use a good field guide.

This beginner course is a gentle introduction to the identification of a range of common wildflower families. The landscape of South Devon hosts a rich and varied flora in a surprisingly diverse range of habitats. We will be exploring the key habitats and encountering many of the species that are characteristic of the coast. This course will be entirely based in the field, giving you plenty of opportunities to find a range of plants and identify them with the guidance of an expert tutor.

This level 2 course is next in the series of our Wildflower framework and is a perfect progression from our level 2 Discovering Botany course. 

Your course will take place within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to field sites in Dartmoor National Park and urban centres in Plymouth and Torbay.

PLEASE NOTE the course fee is for tuition only. There is no accommodation provided with this course. If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at Slapton Ley, please email [email protected]

*Bookings will close if course capacity is reached

The course is for anyone interested in botany and is looking to improve their ability to identify a range of common wildflower families.

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Rangers, Early career consultants and ecologists, biological recorders and consultants interested in learning a new group.

Knowledge Level

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

Prior Knowledge

Some familiarity with plants and field guides would be helpful. No specific experience is expected, just an interest in learning and exploring

What will be covered during this course?

    • Introduction to wildflower ecology
    • How to identify some of the major plant families of the UK
    • Range of field visits to woodland, grassland, fen and coastal shingle
    • Practice in using identification keys

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

    • Explain the ecology of a range of habitats and the wildflower species found
    • Identify some important plant families
    • Identify characteristic species
    • Continue to progress your ability to use identification keys
    • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

This is a place-based training course from FSC, including a balance of classroom-led learning to impart important knowledge and irreplaceable hands-on outdoor learning opportunities to give individuals skills and confidence. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning within botany with further relevant FSC courses or branch out into other areas of flowering and non-flowering plants. The FSC offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

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 learn more about reptiles.

    • 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 for more information!

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: Ian Powell

Ian Powell is a former ecology tutor with the FSC at Slapton Ley and on overseas courses to South America. He now teaches undergraduate and masters courses in conservation biology at Edge Hill University and carries out botanical and butterfly surveys and research in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

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 in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00 am
    • The course will end at 5:00 pm.

Day 1

10:00am Introductions
10:30am Break and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided 
10:45am Field visit to woodland, grassland and fen habitats
1:00pm Lunch – not provided
2:00pm Continued field time
4:30pm Return to classroom, summary and final questions
5:00pm End of day 1

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

Day 2

10:00am Recap of day 1
10:30am Break and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided 
10:45am Field visit to coastal environment
1:00pm Lunch – not provided
2:00pm Continued field time
4:00pm Return to classroom, summary and final questions
5:00pm End of course

We will walk two to three miles over rough ground during each day. This will be done at a slow ‘botanising’ pace but participants will require a reasonable degree of physical fitness.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

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

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.

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:

  • x10 hand lens
  • Your own reference book(s)

You may wish to purchase the FSC Describing Flowers and Guide Seaside flowers to enhance your experience

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