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Woodland plant ID course

10th - 11th May 2018, Woodah Farm, near Exeter

This two day course will provide an introduction to woodland plant identification, woodland survey and woodland ecology.  Emphasis will be placed on practical survey and plant identification with a focus on indicator species. Course participants will visit a range of woodland types located at nearby County Wildlife Sites (CWS) and Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) reserves.  By the end of the course, participants will be familiar with a variety of woodland habitat types and will be confident with the identification of a range of tree, shrub and ground flora species.

Additional topics addressed in the course will include differences between ancient woodland and recent woodland, woodland management and woodland survey technique.

Due to the steep nature of some of the sites a moderate walking ability is required by attendees.

This course is suitable for conservation staff and ecological consultants looking to improve id skills for Continual Personal Development. The course will be accessible to beginners and people with little plant identification/survey experience are welcome.

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Day 1

Classroom session

Introduction to woodlands: definitions of key terms in woodland survey and ecology; woodland classification; ancient woodland/recent woodland and the ancient woodland inventory, introducing woodland plants including indicator species and their identification.


Field visits

The indoor session will be reinforced by outdoor sessions giving opportunities to practice and contextualise the classroom material in semi-natural woodland within a short distance of the course base. Focus on woodland plant identification and linking this to types of woodland community and other habitat characteristics.


Day 2

Classroom session

Woodland management and biodiversity: this session will explore links between woodland management and ecology and also consider the important relationship between the cultural and natural heritage of woodlands. Stand types, invasive species, and other woodland survey features such as deadwood, herbivore impacts, and woodland archaeology will be introduced.

Field visits

Field visits to different woodland sites (including County Wildlife Sites and DWT nature reserves) on day 2 will focus introducing survey techniques and continuing support on woodland plant species identification. There will be opportunities to revise and consolidate learning from the first day and put this into practice with a practical survey exercise.

Sites we will be visiting

Field visits will be made on both days and example woods will be chosen from a number of interesting local semi-natural woodland sites to reflect a range of conditions including Scanniclift Copse, Ruggadon and Dunsford DWT nature reserves, and small farm woods designated as county (or local) wildlife sites.


This course will be based at Woodah Farm in Devon (approximately 10 miles south of Exeter).
Course costs are £180 + VAT for 'early bird' bookings made before the end of March and £220 + VAT for bookings made thereafter. To book onto this course, please call us on (01392) 274128.


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