Grasses, Sedges and Rushes Identification


The course will focus on identifying native grass, sedge and rush species using key features such as flowers, leaves, ligules, structure and habitat. It will also outline indicator species of ancient woodlands. (I will also bring specimens of 3 or 4 wall ferns that may not be present in the woodland site) The course will be pitched at beginners who have some prior knowledge and understanding of plants including grasses/sedges/rushes - I will ask about the level of knowledge of participants at the beginning of the course Delivery - - handouts - to be read by participants prior to the day* - I will show participants key ID features on grasses/sedges/rushes in the field - focussing on around 20 common grass/sedge/rush species. - group involvement which will include groups of 3-4 identifying a grass/sedge/rush (allocated by me) and then discussing amongst their group what the key ID features of this plant are – this will include using an identification key - informal question/answer session at lunchtime - brief test on grasses/sedges/rushes and ID factors at the end of the day *handouts will be sent 2-3 weeks before, including grasses/sedges/rushes identification; info on factors as to distribution/habitats of different grass/sedge/rush species; taxonomy; indicator grass/sedge/rush species of ancient woodland; grass/sedge/rush biology/structure; references (useful books, websites etc). Relevant to audience as it will be useful for Phase 1 Habitat surveys and other botanical surveys, and also as an overview to different habitat types and will help participants to assess whether a site is species-rich botanically (using indicator plants).

Who Should Attend?

Developers, industrial operators and land managers, local authority ecologists and planners, conservation officers and licensing staff within SNCOs or NGOs, students, graduates, ecological consultants, environmental managers, wardens, rangers.

Knowledge Level


Prior Knowledge

A basic knowledge of plants including grasses, sedges and rushes would be useful, though handouts will be sent in advance of the course.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn to identify 10+ common grass species and 6+ common sedge and rush species using key features (see below)
  • Learn some key indicator grass/sedge species for ancient woodlands.
  • Awareness of factors that influence where different grass/sedge/rush species are found.
  • Have an understanding of the taxonomic system of classification for plants.
  • Have an understanding of the structure/biology of grasses/sedge/rushes and differences between them, each other, and other classes of plant.


Tickets Person(s) Price (£)
CIEEM Member Ticket 1 £135.00
Non Member Ticket 1 £195.00