DWT Botany Group – Identifying Flowering Plants (Beginners)

Emily Routledge

When:
March 16, 2017 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
2017-03-16T13:00:00+00:00
2017-03-16T16:00:00+00:00
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Kirsty Pollard
0191 584 3112
DWT Botany Group - Identifying Flowering Plants (Beginners) @ Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve

Four session course: identifying flowering plants for beginners
Purpose
This course is free to members and potential members who wish to develop the skills and knowledge to identify wild plants in flower this spring and summer. It assumes no, or little, prior knowledge of systematic plant identification and aims to give attendees a growing confidence in the use plant guides and keys.
Learning methodology
The focus is on observing common wild plants, using species found on and around Rainton Meadows as examples to learn – what they are and how to tell. Attendees will be shown how to use biological keys and identification guide books, with close and systematic observation of plants found in the wild. Plant terminology and structure will be taught, and relevant aspects of habitat, growth cycles, climate.
Attendees will be encouraged to apply their skills to identify wild plants that they find and to join guided visits beyond the course, such as those organised by Durham Wildlife Botany Group or more general DWT guided walks.
Schedule
The course will run at Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre from early March. Four sessions will be held each fortnight on a Thursday afternoon, 1.00 – 4.00pm.
Thursday 2nd March
Thursday 16th March
Thursday 6th April
Thursday 20th April
Session outline
Session 1 – Introduction to plant identification
Introduction and overview of the course
Brief History of botanical development
Classifying plants into families – ‘have a go session’
Annual, biennial or perennial? – ‘have a go session’
Plant habit, habitats, distribution and seasonality – ‘warm-up quiz’
What to find in County Durham / Vice County 66
Summary and task for next session
Session 2 – How to be systematic
What makes a flowering plant a plant? Key features to look for.
Observe and describe some plant parts ‘have a go session’
Try again, with magnification ‘have a go session’
LOVE identification – what is this?
Let’s find some plants to identify ‘have a go session’
Apply these skills to identify some common plants ‘have a go session’
Task for next session

Week 3 – How to use a biological key
What is a key? How does it work?
Make your simple own key ‘have a go session’
Let’s find some plants to identify ‘have a go session’
Using a key to identify these finds ‘have a go session’
Does the plant guide description match your identification? ‘have a go session’
Summary and task for next session

Week 4 – Key Characteristics of UK Plant Families 2
What plant families are important
Families to become familiar with
Let’s find some plants of different families ‘have a go session’
Using a key to identify these finds ‘have a go session’
Does the plant guide description match your identification? ‘have a go session’
Summary of course and next steps
Please enroll by 28 February at the latest by emailing your request to;
botany@durhamwt.co.uk
or by contacting Kirsty Pollard at Rainton Meadows (tel. 0191 584 3112).