Botanical Surveying Skills for the Ecologist - Neutral Grasslands


The National Vegetation Classification system is a key tool in allowing botanists and ecologists to identify plant communities within semi-natural habitats. This information can be important in assessing the diversity of a site, its importance and any potential future use of the site (both development or management).

Following an explanation of the classification system, techniques and sampling methods, the rest of the time will be spent in the field collecting data, with a return to the classroom to analyse and interpret the results (having used a mixture of keys and computer software).

There will be ample opportunity to practise techniques in recording and sampling in the field. By the end of the day participants will be able to understand the background of the NVC system, its methodology, plant communities, how to collect useful data, formatting and analysis of data and interpretation of that data.

Who Should Attend?

Local Authority ecologists, Ecological consultants, Conservation officers and staff within SNCOs and NGO’s, Students, Environmental managers, Land Managers, Wardens,

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 knowledge of UK flora, particularly those that form Neutral and Acid Grasslands and Heathlands.
No knowledge is required of NVC or other botanical survey techniques.

Learning Outcomes

  • Undertake a National Vegetation Classification survey in Grasslands and/or Heathlands following the standard survey techniques (to the limits of their own botanical identification levels).
  • Classify field data into the correct NVC communities using the appropriate handbooks, keys, software and other resources.
  • Present NVC data in a structured format suitable for NVC/habitat assessment report.
  • Recognise the challenges that undertaking and analysing an NVC survey can present.
  • Understand why accurate species identification is essential in identifying and classifying habitats.


Please bring your own packed lunch and refreshments.


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