Botanic Garden and Attenborough Arboretum

Botany for beginners

This part-time course will help you become more familiar with at least 350 local wild plants. Each module runs over a weekend and focuses on a different group of plants; we show you how to identify them, using classroom-based tuition sessions and follow-up field trips to local sites. We aim to increase your appreciation and understanding of the plant diversity of Leicestershire & Rutland.

Starting in April, you will see most of the wildflowers commonly found in Leicestershire & Rutland and by September, you should be able to:

  • identify at least 350 species (50+ per module) by sight or by key
  • identify some of the less common species
  • use ID keys & hand-lenses effectively

No prior knowledge or qualifications are required, and there are no exams or formal assessment, but we do provide a certificate of attendance. This course can be taken for personal enjoyment, to help you as a conservation volunteer, or as preparation for further study.

We visit flower-rich nature reserves managed by Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust (LRWT); we help you practise your new ID skills and show you how to survey a site (seeing the most plants in the shortest time) and record your finds: all important skills for wildlife conservation.

While on the course, you are welcome at field meetings of the Leicestershire & Rutland group of the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland (BSBI). You can see interesting plants, try out your new skills and pick up plant ID tips.

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