This course is now fully booked.

Botanical Surveys (Phase 1, Extended Phase 1, Hedgerow and NVC) provide the botanist and ecologist with a way of classifying a wide range of vegetation and habitats. Accurate identification is critical to correctly identifying the appropriate habitats and then deciding on their ecological value

This course aims to develop the amateur or professional surveyors’ identification skills, and abilities in using keys. Have you ever struggled to identify a plant, not sure where to begin? Put off by the thought of using ‘Stace’ or other floras? Then this is the course for you. An introduction to learning how to identify plants using a variety of resources including keys. Starting with an introduction to the basic botanical structures and terminology, we will then concentrate on the key features for a range of wildflowers. Detailed study will be made of individual species and their particular characteristics and how they fit into their families. During this course you will have the opportunity to practice your plant identification skills using a range of identification resources, particularly Stace’s New Flora (3rd / 4th editions).

By the end of the course you will be familiar with a wide range of botanical terminology and be able to start to place a variety of plants into families. The only requirement for this course is an enthusiasm for plants. Please feel free to bring any ‘mystery specimens’ you may have.

Tutor: Mark Duffell

Mark Duffell has had a lifetime interest in plants, gaining the RHS Diploma in Horticulture and completing an MSc in Biological Recording. He now runs Arvensis Ecology, splitting his time between conducting botanical surveys and teaching botanical identification and survey techniques to undergraduate and postgraduate students, consultancies and environmental organisations.
A Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Example Timetable

Please arrive at the Centre in good time prior to the 10.00am start time. The course will run all day and finish around 16.00pm. Please bring your own packed lunch for the day.

Presentation and workshop on naming of parts and how to go about identifying wildflowers using keys and other resources.

Looking at specimens and keying them out.
Lunch break and breaks as required.

What's Included

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • x10 and/or x20 hand lens*.
  • A packed lunch and drink.
  • A Notebook
  • Any ID guides that you use.
  • Walking boots, waterproofs and warm clothing.
  • Bring along any specimens you would like help with identifying.

Useful Books

    •  A Guide to the identification of deciduous Broad-leaves trees and Shrubs in Winter. May, A. and Panter, J. 2000. Field Studies Council. (£6.00)*
    • The Field Key to Winter Twigs. Poland, J. 2018. Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.
    • Winter Trees: a photographic guide to common trees and shrubs. Price, D. and Bersweden, L. 2013. Field Studies Council (£8.50)*
    • Identification of Trees and Shrubs in winter using Buds and Twigs’. Schulz, B. 2018. Kew Publishing.

*Copies of these books and handlens may be available to purchase on the day, provided you pre-order by contacting FSC Preston Montford Field Centre beforehand.

Sorry this course has ended