This introductory bryophytes course is a great place to start for those taking their first steps into the world of mosses, liverworts and hornworts.

Have you ever wondered what makes up the bright green carpets on rocks and trees? If you take a closer look, a diverse and prehistoric world is revealed. With over half of all European moss, liverwort and hornwort species present in the UK, there is so much to explore!

During this course, will gain a better understanding of this diverse group, all under the guidance of an engaging and knowledgeable expert in the field. You will learn about their biology and ecology and have ample time to explore your surrounding environment to find some specimens, learning valuable observational field identification tips. Mosses are a comparatively neglected group but they have much to offer, being at their best in winter and are sensitive to soil and habitat conditions.

PLEASE NOTE: the course fee is for tuition only. There is no accommodation provided with this course and the Centre is unable to offer accommodation. Please book local accommodation if you require overnight stays. We recommend taking out your own insurance when booking.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

If you’re interested in finding out more about mosses, liverworts and hornworts but don’t feel quite ready for a specific field ID course, then this is the course for you!

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, students, rangers, early career consultants and ecologists.

Knowledge Level

Introductory. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge

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

What will be covered during this course?

    • An introduction to bryophyte biology
    • An introduction to bryophyte ecology
    • An overview of the species diversity within the UK

Please note that this course is NOT a species identification course.

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

    • Describe which groups of organisms are classified as bryophytes and what makes them different from all other plants
    • Understand the basics of bryophyte lifecycles and reproductive strategies and structures
    • Describe bryophyte habitats and their environmental conditions
    • Recognise groups of common bryophytes in their natural environments
    • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers.

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/bespoke team courses. Click here to find out more!

If we are unable to 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: Pete Howarth

Pete Howarth Pete is the London Natural History Society bryophyte recorder, has studied bryophyte for over 10 years and has been an elected member of the Council of the British Bryological Society.

Example Timetable


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

10:00am - Introductions

10:15am - Classroom session: Introduction to mosses

11:00am - Break and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided

11:15am - Guided walk around the Centre

12:30pm - Lunch – not included

1:30pm - Practical identification and use of key from material collected

3:00pm - Break – refreshments not provided

3:15pm - Assemble spreadsheet of finds and discuss ecology, further work in the lab with microscopes

4:30pm - Classroom plenary and final questions

5:00pm - Finish

Please note accommodation and an evening meal is not included.

What's Included


  • ★★★★★

    Excellent (the tutor) was very helpful and provided the guidance needed when starting this area of study.

  • ★★★★

    Knowledgeable tutor and opportunity to collect mosses in Wales.

  • ★★★★★

    Very skilled tutor who is an excellent teacher

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Before You Attend

What to bring:

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Camera or phone to capture images
  • Your own refreshments & pack lunch
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Bryophyte specimens to show the tutor & your fellow students if you wish
  • Hand lens (if you have one)

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 booking is closed