Ancient Woodland Indicators


This one-day course focuses on ancient woodland indicators. This includes indicator plant species and a range of other features that can be used to establish whether a woodland is ancient or secondary. It will also outline threats to and the management of ancient woodlands.


This predominantly field-based training course (with an introduction in the classroom) will help delegates to be able to confidently identify ancient woodlands and assess what management is required where ancient woodlands are under threat.

The training session is planned to help delegates build the underpinning skills and knowledge required for botanical surveys of woodlands, and will help participants to assess whether a site is ancient, secondary or a plantation on ancient woodland.

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 in ancient woodland habitats within the reserve. The woodland ground flora is extremely rich with spring flowers such as native English bluebell, yellow pimpernel, wood anemone and early purple orchid. Dowlings Wood is a Site 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 plants and other features that are indicators of ancient woodland 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 ancient woodland features and management 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

  • Learn 15+ x key indicator plant species for ancient woodlands including herbs, trees, sedges and grasses.
  • Learn common plant species of woodland (non-indicators).
  • Awareness of other factors that indicate an ancient woodland.
  • Learn how to tell differences between structure of ancient and secondary woodland and typical features of Plantations on Ancient Woodlands (PAWS).
  • Understanding of threats to and management issues for AW and PAWS.


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