Online Courses

Here is your opportunity to expand your knowledge about ecology and conservation from the comfort of your own home. IF THE ONLINE SHOP IS NOT WORKING PLEASE EMAIL for details. 

Here are our current online courses:
  • NEW! Bat Ecology and Surveying
  • Bats: Architectural Terms for Bat Workers
  • Bats: Health and Safety for Bat Workers
  • Bats: Surveying Buildings for Bats*
  • Bats: Introduction to Bats*
  • Bats: Activity Surveys – transects and emergence surveys*
  • Bats: Surveying Trees for Bats*
  • Badger Ecology and Surveying *
  • Beaver Ecology and Surveying*
  • Beginners Botany*~
  • NEW! Career Kick-Starter 6 step program
  • Dormouse Ecology and Surveying*
  • Grass ID *~
  • NEW! Great Crested Newt Ecology and Surveying
  • Habitat Management
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Invasive Species
  • Mammal ID
  • Reptile and Amphibian ID and surveying
  • Reptile Ecology and Surveying*
  • Otter Ecology and Surveying*
  • Phase 1 Habitat mapping
  • Surveying for Protected Species*
  • Woodland Management for Biodiversity
*These courses are in a different format with Sue Searle BSc PGDip, MCIEEM, Principal Ecologist taking you through the ‘classroom’ part of the course then she takes you out in the field to see things for yourself. These courses are delivered as video and have a course quiz at the end and you will gain a Certificate!
~ these courses will be available again in the spring when the plants are in flower again. 
All courses receive a Certificate on satisfactory completion of a quiz.

Grass Identification Self-study course

SKU 00226
Out of stock
Product Details

Next available in May 2022 when the grasses are flowering again.

This course is aimed at anyone new to studying this fascinating group of plants, and will concentrate on the principles of grass identification. The course will give you an opportunity to learn and practice your identification skills, and to build up a collection of specimens and associated notes. This course can only be undertaken between May and September when flowering grasses are available. If you book at another time of the year the course materials will be sent to you in early May.

The course will cover the following topics:
• Grass structure, terminology and features commonly used for ID
• Grass families and clues to their ID
• How to use keys and field guides to identify species.

Course outline:

Part 1

•What is a grass?
•Grass anatomy
•Features used to identify grasses
•How to use keys

Part 2

•Common grasses - identification
•Practice using Keys and identifying your samples

Part 3

•Field visit with the tutor
•Tutor showing field notebook

By the end of the course, participants will have learnt how to recognise some of the common species of grass found in the UK, will be familiar with grass features and structures and know how to use keys to identify grasses.

What our students say:

"I found the course VERY useful. I started doing some work on learning about grasses last summer, but got distracted and before you know it, it's October. The course has opened my eyes to grasses, and on my morning walk today, I found myself constantly scanning the grasses and identifying/attempting to identify them. I found it interesting, and that makes it easier for me to learn. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the course to anybody wishing to learn about grasses.

The video was great, it make things a bit more interactive. Also, the fieldwork part of it REALLY worked for me... if I can go out and see stuff rather than just reading about it, it helps massively."

"It has been very helpful in learning the lingo / technical terms for things which will help me enormously in using my ID guide! (e.g. I now know what a ligule is and where to find it! ).
It is also good to know that the certain species I thought I knew, such as Yorkshire Fog, were indeed Yorkshire Fog, and I have learnt some new species, too :). Thank you very much for putting this course together."

Other information:


The course is online and can be started at any time and will take about 4-6 hours to complete.

Video run-time: 1hr 58 mins - allow time to stop and take notes and look at your samples.

What you need:

You will need a grass ID book, one of these or similar:

•FSC Chart Guide to Common Grasses.
•Francis Rose 1989 - Colour identification Guide to the Grasses, Sedges Rushes and Ferns of the British Isles and north-western Europe –Penguin Group

•C.E Hubbard 1992 – Grasses A guide to their structure, identification, uses and distribution in British Isles – 3rd Edition - Penguin Group

You will need to collect 5-10 grass samples before you start the video that you can refer to.

A hand lens or magnifying glass would be useful.

You might also want to have a hardback sketchbook and some sticky tape to put your samples in.

How will I be assessed?

You will have to identify 10 grass species and send evidence (e.g. photograph/video) that you have done this.

There is also an end of course quiz.

Once you have successfully completed these two assessments you will receive a Certificate.

Need an invoice?

If you are a company and require an invoice do NOT book here but email us instead. You will need to give us your company details and purchase order (if you have one) and we will raise an invoice. Joining instructions will be sent separately. There is an additional admin fee of £10 for this service.


Email or call Sue on 07818073660.

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All our online courses are individually priced.

If you require an invoice then please email otherwise please book online. We cannot take cheques or payments over the phone at this time.

To request an invoice please state:

  • company name and address
  • purchase order number (if applicable)
  • course title/date
  • delegate name.

This is what some of our students have said about our online courses:

‘The [habitat management] course is certainly paying off as I’m currently managing woodlands as part of the graduate development programme with the FC. I’m about to apply for the membership with the Institute of Chartered Foresters and thought of attaching this certificate!’

‘Thank you for the course, I found it very interesting and definitely improved my knowledge of the fundamentals of habitat management.’