Course: Grassland Ecology

Sun, 15/07/2018 - 9:30am - 4:00pm

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Scabious and beetle (c) Ellen WinterScabious and beetle (c) Ellen Winter

Event details

Sun, 15/07/2018 - 9:30am - 4:00pm

Join Dr Kathy Meakin, GWT's Survey and Monitoring Coordinator, for this field-based course. During the day you will learn how lowland grasslands have evolved, grasslands within the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) standards, and their dependence on biotic and soil factors.

After an illustrated introduction, you will visit the neutral grasslands at Robinswood Hill, before moving to grazed and ungrazed limestone commons to compare grasslands that have been improved or unimproved and are ancient or more recent and relate their plant species communities through surveying and species ID.

Feedback from last year: “Wonderful, knowledgeable, approachable tutor”

• Location: Robinswood Hill Country Park, Gloucester
• Tutor: Dr Kathy Meakin
• Date : Sunday 15th July 2018
• Times: 09:30 – 16.00
• Refreshments included
• Level: Professionals and Enthusiasts
• Price: £50

Please note: If attendees are not all over 18, please contact Ellen Winter on prior to booking tickets.  

Course Expectations
Over the day the course will cover:
• How to interpret geology and soils from the grassland habitat
• Flowering plant species associations
• Understanding of conservation habitat management techniques
• Habitat condition assessment
• Introduction to National Vegetation Classification (NVC) communities
• Basic survey and ID techniques

About the Tutor
Inspired as a child by seeing bullfinches on her grandparent’s birdfeeder, GWT’s Survey and Monitoring Coordinator Dr Kathy Meakin has remained captivated by the natural world ever since. As a specialist in biodiversity assessment Kathy’s PhD was in beetle diversity in the Namib desert before working as an environmental consultant for several years. More recently she has led on providing GWT with the evidence needed to help manage our many nature reserves.

09.15 : Registration and refreshments at Robinswood Hill Country Park
09.30 : Welcome and introductions
09.45 : Indoor session: Introduction to Grassland Ecology
11.00 : Refreshments (provided)
11.15 : Introduction to Neutral Grassland
12.30 : Lunch (note: bring packed lunch.)
13.15 : Cotswold Grasslands 1
14.30 : Refreshments (provided)
14.45 : Cotswold Grasslands 2
15.30 : Discussion and review of the day
16.00 : Course ends
All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may change according to the weather, group requirements or wildlife factors.

What we provide
• All equipment and hand lenses
• Light refreshments
• Course pack
• Relevant guide books
• Certificate of Attendance

What to Bring
• Weather appropriate outdoor clothing (we advise clothing to cover arms, legs and feet).
• Appropriate outdoor footwear with good grip.
• A packed lunch and water.
• Notebook and pencil
• Camera
• Field guides and hand lenses if you have any.

Useful Guides
Gulliver, Gulliver & Roberts (2002) FSC Fold-out Chart – Grassland Plants 1 Identification Guide (neutral and acidic grasslands)

Meeting point/Location
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Conservation Centre, Robinswood Hill Country Park GL4 6SX

Parking and Transport
There is free public parking on site. We will walk to the first field site directly from the Conservation Centre, but other field sites are a short drive away with limited parking, so car sharing will be arranged on the day.

Accessibility and Health
If you have relevant medical or access requirements please let us know when booking.
Conservation centre has level access, disabled parking and toilet. Field visits approximately 4 hours on often uneven, muddy and steep terrain.

Please contact course organiser Ellen Winter for more details - we are happy to work with you to facilitate attendance wherever possible.

About the Field Sites
The Conservation Centre is the headquarters of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Robinswood Hill is situated on the edge of Gloucester and is owned and managed by Gloucester City Council with GWT. As a Key Wildlife Site, the hill is important for wildlife and offers a wide range of learning opportunities.
A range of other field sites will also be visited, in private and public ownership.

Further Information

To read our Events Cancellation Policy, please click here.

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Venue location

Robinswood Hill Country Park,

Grid reference

Event information

Book by phone
Tel: 01452 383333
Book by email
Sunday 15th July 2018
9:30am - 4:00pm
Price / Donation
£50 per person
Suitable for 18+ years
Learning / Education
Outdoor activity
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Venue location
Robinswood Hill Country Park,
Grid reference
Get directions
Plan your journey
Public transport
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Wheelchair Access
Wheelchair users please contact organiser in advance
People with limited mobility please contact organiser in advance
no dogs please
Contact details
Tel: 01452 383333
Ellen Winter