Days will be spent in the field visiting different local locations around the centre and Derwentfolds woods with various habitats (woodland, crag, lake, mountain, limestone) to examine a significant proportion of Britain’s ferns, horsetails, clubmosses and quillworts – the pteridophytes.

Our main objective will be identification, but ecology will also be a mainstay of the course. Days in the field will be illustrated and enhanced with lectures and lab examination of field gathered material.

As a bonus, participants can hope to leave competent to identify, to a reasonable degree, the tricky five male fern species, differences between which are subtle but ecologically and evolutionarily important

With various habitats (woodland, crag, lake, mountain, limestone) to examine a significant proportion of Britain’s ferns, horsetails, clubmosses and quillworts – the pteridophytes. Our main objective will be identification, but ecology will also be a mainstay of the course. Field excursions will be illustrated and enhanced with lectures and lab examination of field gathered material. As a bonus, participants can hope to leave competent to identify, to a reasonable degree, the tricky five male fern species, differences between which are subtle but ecologically and evolutionarily important.

Tutor: James Merryweather

James Merryweather is the author of two FSC AIDGAP field guides: a comprehensive key to all British pteridophytes and a folding chart that covers 38 common ferns. He has been teaching fern identification and ecology since he first came to the Blencathra Centre, shortly after publication of The Fern Guide in 1991, and has taught at several other FSC centres and around the Highlands where he now lives, not far from Skye. In 2012 he completed a project for the Highland Council, introducing seashore biology to all comers which was added to a suite of ‘Merryweather Natural History’ guides on DVD that includes his lavishly illustrated picture guide to ferns (free - enquire). His latest field guide, following the AIDGAP method is user friendly Seashore Guide available from Amazon.

Example Timetable

Monday 31st August

Supper followed by work room introduction and exploration of the fern rich FSC Blencathra Centre grounds.

Tuesday 1st September

Derwentfolds woods and Borrowdale.

Wednesday 2nd September

Hutton Roof and Sizergh Castle gardens.

Thursday 3rd September

Pteridological Mystery Tour.

Friday 4th September

Whinlatter, Moss Force, Crummock Water and Castle Crag. End - 4 p.m.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance
Clear
Pay a deposit of £100.00 per item