Due to Covid-19 we have had to cancel courses from March to 1st August, we hope you will find an event later in the year that you can attend.

This weekend practical course is aimed at anyone wishing to gain experience in the recognition of plants found in bogs and mires. This is a subject covering some of the more difficult plant families, including the Cyperaceae and Juncaceae, as well as the better known Ericaceae and carnivorous sundews. Critical bryophytes, including the notoriously difficult Sphagna, will also be covered. The emphasis is on identification through examination of characteristic features in the field aided by simplified keys to some of the more difficult groups. Bog and mire ecology (and the NVC) will also be considered briefly.


This is one of a series of courses (Units) run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University contributing to the MSc Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring and the Postgraduate Certificate in Biological Recording. To gain university credits you must be registered for the programme in advance of this course. For further details please contact:

Department of Natural Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, (Shrewsbury Office). E-mail: [email protected]  Phone: 01743 355137

The Unit will be assessed through, for example, identification tests, survey reports, field journals, production of keys, essays or other forms of assessment.

The course is also suitable for non-credit students and for those enrolling on the new certificate course with FSC. For further details on this course please contact FSC Head Office at [email protected]

Tutor: Hilary Wallace

Hilary Wallace is a freelance botanist with a special interest in plant community classification. With 30 years experience of using the NVC, Hilary is a regular tutor on NVC and plant identification courses.

Example Timetable

Please arrive at the Centre between 15:00pm and 17:00pm on the first day of your course in good time for a welcome introduction and evening meal usually 18.30pm, after which the course commences with a short evening session.

Lab session: Introduction to the main families of plants found on bogs and mires.

Upland blanket bog, wet heath and associated flush communities.
Field visit to Berwyns at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Reserve. Concentrating on Cyperaceae and Sphagna.
Evening Lab session with keys and microscopes identifying species collected during the day.

Lowland raised mire and wetlands.
Field visit to Wem Moss, Shropshire. Concentrating on subshrubs and sphagna and Wildmoor pool, Long Mynd for grasses, sedges and rushes.
Evening Lab sessions with keys and microscopes.

Base rich flushes. Field visit to Long batch (Long Mynd).
13.30pm – 15.30pm First assignment for accredited students.
Those not taking the accreditation can either sit the assignment to ‘test’ themselves or carry on with tutor assisted identification of material collected during the course.
The second assignment will be carried out by students away from the Centre and will involve the preparation of herbarium specimens and construction of a dichotomous key.

Accrediting Agency

Manchester Metropolitan University

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance