Identification of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes

Identification of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes


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Key skills for field ecologists – fun outdoor learning for the rest of us.

Learn how to recognise key features and identify some of the more common varieties. This is a practical field ecology class with lots of chances to get outdoors looking at different species, then it’s back into the classroom for work with microscopes, keys and field guides.

This course is run at CAT by Aberystwyth University. Please book the course through Aberystwyth University online or by calling 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

Key information

  • Duration: three days
  • Upcoming dates: Mon 1st – Wed 3rd July
  • Start and finish times: starts at 10am
  • Fees: £120; concessions £100 (paid via Aberystwyth Universsity). Optional full board accommodation at CAT £130 (shared) or £170 (single)
  • Includes: tuition, all materials
  • What to bring: waterproof clothing is recommended

This course is run at CAT by Aberystwyth University. Please book the course through Aberystwyth University on 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

What you will learn

Green leaves that all look the same and no pretty flowers – so difficult to identify! Learn the fundamentals of grass, sedge and rush identification and by the end of this course you will know that this statement is not true.

This course offers essential skills for field and conservation ecologists, and is a valuable course for professional development.

Emphasis will be on practical skills, with identification taking place mainly in the laboratory where there is time and equipment to fully examine specimens.

A range of common species, both flowering and non-flowering from local habitats will be used.

The focus will be on learning how to identify and develop the skills and confidently use a flora.

Students should become familiar with a good range of common species, relating these species to their preferred habitat, and be able to identify these species in the field, producing a portfolio of specimens and a small voucher collection.

The course will be run as a practical workshop where you will be shown how to use a stereo microscope and use reference texts and keys to identify specimens. We will focus on common species to gain an understanding of the terminology involved. The habitats around CAT will be investigated and a diverse range of other specimens will be available. By the end of the course you should be able to tackle the identification of unknown specimens and recognise a good range of common species.

Complete beginners will be challenged but no prior knowledge is required to tackle the course. Students with some previous knowledge or familiarity with general plant identification, terminology and the use of keys will be at a slight advantage. There will be 20 contact hours with the tutor but additional study time during the evenings would be beneficial. You will be encouraged to ask questions and share ideas, to learn not only from the tutor but also from other members of the group.

This course is run at CAT by Aberystwyth University and can be taken as part of a Higher Education Certificate in Field Ecology. Please book the course through Aberystwyth University online or by calling 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

Meet your tutors

Margaret Howells

To learn more or book click here

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