In April we held a free flora identification training day and survey for around 25 people, starting right in the heart of the Forest of Dean at the bountiful Beechenhurst.
I kicked off with an introduction to Foresters’ Forest HLF Landscape Partnership Programme and some background about the Woodland Network Project. I was then joined by Rosie Kelsall from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and we demonstrated how to identify woodland plants and wild flowers, and discussed plant, flower and leaf structure.
Rosie and I then worked with small groups to look at using the Field Studies Council woodland plant key and identified samples and then Rosie explained more about the plants on the survey list accompanied by a series of slides. Finally before lunch I spoke about the allocation of sites and provided a Health and Safety and Risk Assessment.
After lunch the group travelled two miles to Blakes Wood to put the morning’s learning into practise and carry out the surveys. Following this training we hope that the volunteers will then continue to go out in their spare time and carry on with the good work – and we know that 17 of the attendees have done just that so far.