Botany for Beginners


This one-day course focuses on recognising the common plant families and building skills in ID for common/indicator plant species of grassland and woodland habitats.


This field-based training course will help delegates understand the key differences between common plant families and recognise the key ID features of plants in the field. The training will also highlight some of the key indicator plant species for grassland habitats and factors which influence where plant species are found.

The training sessions are planned to help delegates build the underpinning skills and knowledge required for botanical surveys including Phase 1 Habitat surveys and will help participants to assess whether a site is species-rich botanically.

The course takes place at Folly Farm Nature Reserve, which is owned and managed by Avon Wildlife Trust. Folly Farm is a fine example of a traditional farm with wildflower meadows and ancient woodland. This 250-acre nature reserve offers spectacular views over Chew Valley Lake and the Mendips.

Delegates will be able to explore plant species across a range of grassland and woodland habitats within the reserve. The meadows are unspoilt by pesticides and fertilisers, and are full of indicator plants such as betony, ox-eye daisy and heath spotted orchid. The woodland ground flora is extremely rich with spring flowers such as native English bluebell, yellow pimpernel and early purple orchid. The wildflower meadows and Dowlings Wood are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The course is pitched at beginner level and is suitable for those who have some prior knowledge/understanding of plants, though background information on plant structure and common plant families will be sent to all delegates in advance of the course. The training includes group activities, discussion, informal Q&A sessions and a chance to test knowledge gained in a review of plant families and ID factors at the end of the day.

Who Should Attend?

LA ecologists, SNCO/NGO conservation officers, students, ecological consultants, wardens, rangers.

Knowledge Level


Prior Knowledge

A basic knowledge of plant structure and common plant families would be useful, though handouts will be sent in advance of the course to support those with no previous knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding of key differences between 6 common plant families.
  • Understand the differences between herbs and grasses/sedges, ferns and rushes.
  • Have an understanding of the taxonomic system of classification for plants.
  • Learn some key indicator plant species for grasslands and woodlands.
  • Awareness of factors that influence where plant species are found.


Refreshments will be provided throughout the day. Please bring your own packed lunch.


Tickets Person(s) Price
Member Ticket 1 £120.00
Non Member Ticket 1 £180.00