Ancient Woodland Indicators and Other Woodland Flora


Woodlands are an important UK habitat and being able to accurately identify Ancient Woodland Indicator species (AWIs) can aid in establishing the conservation value and significance of these habitats.

The field visit allows you to appreciate the importance of AWIs in situ, see the niches they occupy and some of the challenges you may come across when identifying them. Several AWIs have look-a-like species which can be generalists, garden escapees or even invasives (e.g., Wood Spurge and Yellow Archangel). Knowing which one is which could dramatically alter the ecological value of a site.

Time will be spent identifying individual species and understanding their role in the woodland.

A range of resources will be used to make identifications from floral/vegetative keys, comparison tables and identification guides.

This is a day course aimed at the keen beginner and improver alike, providing an introduction to woodland plant identification.

By the end of the course participants will be able to distinguish the major groups of woodland plants and recognise the key characters of those they can’t identify. They will also be aware of the different books available to make a successful identification.

Who Should Attend?

Local Authority ecologists, ecological consultants, Conservation officers and staff within SNCOs and NGO’s, students, environmental managers, land Managers, wardens, rangers

Knowledge Level

Beginner - Intermediate

Prior Knowledge

No existing knowledge, or experience is essential, but attendees will gain the most from this course if they have some prior understanding of the parts of a plants and associated terminology, have used a key (not necessarily botanical) and have some prior knowledge of UK flora.

Field Identification Skills Certificate levels 2 and above

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand what comprises an Ancient Woodland Indicator (AWI) species, how they might vary over the British Isles and how they can be useful in assessing a woodland.
  • Recognise and name a wide number of AWIs, including a number of Ferns and grasses.
  • Distinguish between a number of AWIs and look-a-like species which may include invasive relatives and Schedule 9 species.


Tickets Person(s) Price (£)
CIEEM Member Ticket 1 £142.00
Non Member Ticket 1 £205.00