Vegetation Survey Techniques- Using Phase 1 Habitat and NVC Survey Methods


This one day course will help participants understand how to conduct a vegetation survey using Phase 1 habitat survey techniques and the National Vegetation Classification system. Participants will also learn about floristic composition and the different methods for recording species abundance and biodiversity. The park consists of 400 acres of grasslands, woodlands and riparian habitat (River Alyn). If weather permits, training will include a short field survey within the park.


This course will cover Phase 1 survey methods using NVC classification and indicator species. We will also look at the taxonomy and classification of common plant species and the habitats in which they grow. Participants will also gain an understanding of the laws surrounding protected species and invasive plants. An important component of surveying is setting objectives and we will cover this alongside identifying the habitat and biotic/abiotic influences on surveying vegetation, the optimum times for surveying vegetation, types of survey techniques (including techniques to record plant diversity and abundance e.g. using DAFOR scale etc), using relevant tools/techniques to conduct a survey and presenting results as an ecological report.

Alyn Waters has undergone many changes over the centuries from a large country estate to a sand and gravel quarry and then a country park. The sand and gravel from the quarry was used to build the Llyn Brenig Dam on the Denbigh Moors. In 1966 during quarrying part of a woolly mammoth tusk was discovered and is now exhibited at the Liverpool Museum. The area was designated a country park in 1989 with the development of meadows and woodland. Course delivery will comprise an illustrated talk, followed by identification of common indicator plants and a practical survey session to identify and map different habitats.

Set in 400 acres, training will take place in a relaxed and spacious conference room within the Visitor Centre. The room has free wifi, direct access to its own private deck area through doors which open out directly onto the park where members can relax during break times and lunch. There is also an on-site café and picnic tables available within the park. The venue is situated 3 miles north of Wrexham and easily accessible from the A541(just follow the brown and white country park signs off the A541 Mold Road along a drive to the Visitor Centre.

There is on-site parking for which there is a £1 parking fee.

Who Should Attend?

This course is suitable for local authority ecologists and planners, conservation officers and licensing staff within SNCOs or NGO’s, students, ecological consultants, environmental managers, wardens and rangers. This course is also suitable for conservation volunteers.

Knowledge Level


Prior Knowledge

No prior knowledge of experience of Phase 1 surveys or NVC is required to attend this training.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify survey objectives for ‘standard’ surveys, and select the most appropriate survey technique (e.g. Phase 1)
  • Understand biosecurity controls and use safe, biosecure and legal species handling techniques
  • Identify common species
  • Understand species ecology and distribution
  • Identify, classify and evaluate habitats and the influence of the physical aspects of the environment
  • Identify, classify and evaluate habitats in accordance with local, national and international classifications (e.g. NVC) and at a variety of spatial scales
  • Recognise personal limitations and areas for development and seeking opportunities to develop knowledge, understanding and skills


Course fee includes refreshments throughout the day. Please bring your own packed lunch or order food from the on-site café.


Tickets Person(s) Price
Member Ticket 1 £110.00
Non Member Ticket 1 £180.00