Learn the key features of flowering plants and explore different habitats to uncover the variety of wildflower species specific to certain areas. Gain confidence, develop skills, and learn how to use field identification guides and keys in this relaxed introduction to the world of botany.

Delve into the fascinating and beautiful world of botany! Plants are essential for all life on earth as they are the base of all terrestrial food chains.

This lively, informative, hands-on course will offer you a relaxed introduction to the world of botany. With plenty of plant material to pull apart and look at in the classroom, we will investigate the vegetative (leaves, stems, roots) and reproductive (flowers, fruits and seeds) parts of flowering plants, and start to understand the roles that they perform. Moving outside, we will look at the plants growing around the field centre – using them for further study of these features. We will consider the domination of the angiosperms (flowering plants) in the broader context of the whole plant kingdom.

Tutor: Dr Karen Van Oostrum

Karen has a love of plants and the environment, and enjoys sharing this with others, through courses and guided walks. A Biology graduate of Oxford University with a Ph. D. in wheat genetics, Karen was Head of Education at Cambridge University Botanic Garden from 2006 – 2012 and has worked with people of many ages from diverse backgrounds. Self-employed since 2013, Karen writes and delivers introductory courses in Botany, hosts school visits at her local Field Studies Council Centre, and supports the teaching of plant science in Primary Schools through INSET and pupil workshops. Karen volunteers with her local environment group in the Chilterns, leading guided walks and overseeing work parties.