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.

Identifying Woodland Plants is a course for those wishing to develop their skills in woodland plant identification. We will look at a wide range of species, including not only trees and the more colourful flowering plants, but also often neglected groups such as woodland grasses, sedges and ferns. We will take a look at some woodland mosses and liverworts, as these form an important component of some types of woodland.

The timing of the course means that most of these plants will be at their very best. We will discuss a range of related topics, including ancient woodland indicators, and the strategies which allow woodland plants to cope with the shade which would make many species struggle. Our field trips will take us to a variety of different types of woodland. These may include typical base-rich, species-rich lowland woodlands, sessile oak woods with a distinct ‘upland’ feel to them, wet alder woodlands, a range of scrub communities and secondary woodland. Please note that while we won’t walk great distances or at a great pace, some of the paths are steep.

Sally Peacock has a long-standing interest in natural history and a love of being outside. She strongly believes that knowing the plants we see around us can enrich our experience of the world.

Tutor: Sally Peacock

Sally Peacock and Margaret Crittenden are both experienced teachers with a passion for botany. Margaret is the British Bryological Society Regional Recorder for Nottinghamshire.

Example Timetable

On day one we will focus on trees and the more obvious flowering plants, identifying a range of species and discussing other species for which we might mistake them. In the evening we will begin to look at woodland ferns in preparation for day 2. The second day will include review of some of the plants that were covered on day 1 and introduce a number of new species. In the evening, we will look at a few mosses and liverworts, including using a low power microscope to better appreciate their beauty. Other groups, such as woodland sedges and grasses, we will consider as we find them.  By the end of the third day you will feel more confident about a range of plants and of the garden plants which sometimes escape into the wild and can confuse the unwary botanist.  We will look at many plants as a group; often, you will be encouraged to work in pairs and you will also have the opportunity to work independently. Questions will be encouraged and will help ensure that we all go away having learned something new.

What's Included

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

Before You Attend

Start and Finish Times

Resident participants are asked to arrive for registration between 1:00pm and 4:00pm on arrival day; after this time self-directed arrival information will be posted on the front door. There will be an introductory talk at 5:00pm. Supper is usually at 6:30pm. Non-resident participants should arrive just before 5:00pm. A non-resident booking also includes dinner during your course as teaching does progress into the evening. Breakfast, for resident participants, will be from 8:00am. The course will end at 4pm Monday. On the final day, please vacate your room by 9:00am; storage is provided for your luggage.

What to Bring

  • Notebook, pencils and pens
  • A hand lens (x 10 magnification)  - these are available on loan if you do not yet have one
  • A plant identification guide: for example the second edition of David Streeter’s “Collins Wild Flower Guide” (2016) or “The Wild Flower Key” by Francis Rose and Clare O’Reilly (revised 2006).
  • Two pairs of fine pointed forceps (available on loan) and/or two mounted needles (not essential)
  • Lunch box, salad box and flask, water bottle
  • Walking boots, waterproofs, day sack - available to borrow from the centre, if necessary
  • Sun hat and sun lotion
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