The course will be a combination of field excursions covering many different habitats and time in the classroom with microscopes and keys.

Sphagnum, an immensely colourful and ecologically important genus, is here in plenty within easy reach of Blencathra. Most of the British species will be seen by visiting some fine examples of woodlands, forests, bogs and lochs.

The course will establish confidence in field identification and will thus enable full use to be made of the numerous ecological indicator species of sphagnum. It is a course that will appeal to keen amateurs, as well as to professionals interested in land management and National Vegetation Classification (NVC).

Emphasis will be placed on field characteristics backed up by work in the laboratory, including the use of identification keys. There will also be opportunities to study special interests, as individual guidance will be given at all levels.

Tutor: Nick Hodgetts

Nick Hodgetts is a botanical consultant with 30 years of experience as a bryologist. He has a background in the voluntary and statutory conservation sectors and is now self-employed and based in the Isle of Skye.

What's Included

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

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Lunch box, vacuum flask
  • Wellingtons and or waterproof walking boots
  • Plenty of spare warm waterproof clothing
  • Fine Forceps (blunt-ended tweezers are not suitable)
  • Fine scalpel (eq Swan Morton, number 11)
  • Selection of small polythene bags
  • Small notebook and pencil
  • Hand lens (x10 magnification)
  • Old newspapers (for making moss packets)
  • Rucksack to carry spare clothing and lunch
  • Towels will be provided but do bring toothpaste, soap, shower gel, hairdryer and own toiletries

For your own and group safety, Centre staff reserve the right to refuse to take people out on excursions if they are not properly equipped. If you are unsure of the standard of equipment required, please contact us for advice. Please see above information for details of any other
equipment required as suggested by your Course Tutor.

We have wellingtons (but not waders) and waterproofs available at the centre.

Recommended Reading

Handbook of European Sphagna Daniels, R.E & A Eddy (1985) Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.
Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland Smith, A.J.E (2006) (ed 2, reprinted version). Cambridge University Press.