November is an irresistible time of year to turn our attention to trees. The broad-leaved trees have just lost their blaze of colour and the conifers stand out in majestic contrast. By November we can no longer rely solely on the foliage and fruits, we must now look to twig formation and winter buds to help us identify these important members of our natural heritage. This course is suitable for beginners and all those who love trees. No previous knowledge will be assumed.

This course is concerned with identification. In the case of the broad-leaved trees we shall focus on natives but with the conifers the emphasis will be on those that are widely grown and commonly naturalised. Depending on weather conditions, much of Saturday will be spent at the Centre, sorting through specimens and getting to grips with the terminology of the features of the bare stems, the winter buds and (in the case of the conifers) needle arrangement and cones. We shall also practise working with different keys to identification. However, regardless of the weather, and especially on Sunday, we shall spend plenty of time exploring the local woods and hedgerows in order to put into practice what we have learned.

Be prepared for short bursts of brisk walking whilst exploring the woods. However, there will be longer periods of standing still while studying different tree specimens and, whatever the weather, you may become cold at these times, so do bring appropriate clothing.

The content is also appropriate for anyone wishing to contribute to their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

Tutor: Ros Bennett

Ros Bennett is a botanist and ecologist. She was formerly a full time tutor at Flatford Mill (another FSC Field Centre) and then organiser and leader of courses for FSC Overseas. She has written books on flowers and teaches courses on plant identification to both amateurs and professionals.

With the generous support of the Suffolk Biodiversity and Information Service, along with the Suffolk Naturalists Society, we are able to provide bursary funding for this course for those students who meet the criteria. For more information please go to Bursaries for Natural History Courses.


Bring a friend!

If you are attending a course at Flatford Mill at the sole occupancy price, we are offering a special rate for a friend or partner not enrolled on the course to also stay at £50 per night for dinner, bed and breakfast.

Please contact FSC Flatford Mill on 01206 297110 or [email protected] to book this offer.

What's Included

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

Before You Attend

What to Bring

Please bring with you if you can:

  • Appropriate warm and waterproof clothing and footwear (waterproofs and wellies available on loan at the centre)
  • A lunchbox and flask.
  • A x10 magnification hand lens (available on the course for loan or sale, approximately £9)
  • Transparent ruler (available on loan); pair of Binoculars – for viewing out-of-reach cones (optional)

Recommended Reading:

  • Any picture guide to trees that you are accustomed to using, such as Tree Guide by Johnson and More (Collins)
  • New Flora of the British Isles by Stace (CUP)

There are copies of these and many tree books available on loan at the Centre.