Course: Broad-Leaved Trees - MMU

Field Studies Council

Preston Montford, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
6th-8th September 2024

Cost: £244 - £380

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology


This weekend botanical tree course will equip you with the skills needed to confidently identify native broad-leaved trees; focusing on accuracy and diagnostic features.

Early autumn is an excellent time to turn our attention to identifying broad-leaved trees! Soon they will start to transform our landscapes into a blaze of colour that cannot go unnoticed. Now is the time to learn what you can from the foliage and fruits before needing to rely on twig formation and winter silhouettes to help identify these important members of our natural heritage. Your learning will take place within the 12-hectare estate of the Preston Montford Centre, nestled in the heart of Shropshire and surrounded by a rich range of habitats.

Many broad-leaved species appear similar, and even some seemingly simple groups can be complex to unravel and differentiate e.g. Betula and Quercus. Much of the course will be spent looking at specimens and getting to grips with the terminology that refers to the shape of leaves and the structure and classification of fruits. You will also practice working with different identification keys in the presence of our expert tutor.

Trees and shrubs make up an obvious feature of the British landscape, from lowland heath-land species, to upland and montane forests rich with bryophytes and lichens. However, our native and non-native trees are coming under direct threat from a number of challenges: climate change, pollution, development of ancient woodland sites, and a number of diseases and pests. Government agencies, forestry companies, conservation charities and other organisations are undertaking widespread planting schemes to counteract this. The challenge ahead is ensuring that this is sustainably done, utilising appropriate species and sites – a sound understanding of broad-leaved trees and their identification will be key to this.

There are two booking options which all include course tuition, meals and refreshments:

  • Non-Resident
  • Resident (Sole Occupancy)

For course bookings including accommodation please note bathroom facilities may be shared.

Please refer to our website for further information and to book. 


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