The ideal time to survey habitats is in the summer, but there are often times when an out-of-season survey is required.  There are also times when you might find yourself in a potentially interesting place and wonder whether it’s worth a revisit at a better time of year.

This course is designed to enable both professionals and amateurs to assess habitats in the winter.

Out-of-season plant and habitat identification.  The assessment of vegetation type and condition in the winter.  Identification of habitats requiring further survey.  The course will take advantage of the rich and varied habitats of South Devon.

This course includes:

  • Identification of plants.
  • Focussing on key indicator Species. – using vegetative characteristics and remains of flowering parts..
  • The use of a potentially restricted range of species to arrive at an assessment of habitat type (NVC, Section 41 etc) and condition.

We anticipate that this course will run with between 8 and 16 participants.

Moderate fitness.  Distances will not be huge, but time will be spent outdoors in potentially poor weather!

If you are 18-25, you can get £50 off this course thanks to the Generation Green project. Click here to find out more and to get your voucher code.

Tutor: Philip Wilson

Phil Wilson has been a freelance vegetation scientist, studying Britain’s plants and vegetation, since 1991. His PhD focused on the ecology and conservation of the arable flora and he worked with Plantlife for several years on some of our rarest plants. He also manages a small farm in East Devon, but enjoys travelling round the country. 

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

If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at FSC Slapton Ley, please email [email protected]

Example Timetable

As much time as possible will be spent in the field, but this will depend on the weather.  There will be opportunities to use a range of computer programmes to investigate vegetation data, and opportunities to explore vegetative keys.

If you have booked accommodation at the Centre, please arrive between 8:00am and 9:30am on arrival day, allowing time to settle into your room before the course begins.

If you are a non-resident, please arrive by 9:45am.

The course will end at 17:00pm on the last day and we ask that rooms are vacated by 9:30am.


What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Up to 6 hours of tuition a day.
  • Tea and coffee making facilities available throughout the day.
  • Use of resources and facilities including workrooms and the Centre grounds.

Bursaries and Subsidies

If you are 18-25, you can get £50 off this course thanks to the Generation Green project. Click here to find out more and to get your voucher code.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Warm clothes, Waterproof Clothing.
  • Walking Boots / Wellingtons.
  • Rucksack.
  • Lunch box / drinks container.
  • Favourite Identification Guides.