10 hours
1 modules
Purchase this course

This self-study course is aimed at anyone new to studying this fascinating group of plants, and will concentrate on the principles of grass identification. You will learn key identification features and grass families and be able to identify a range of grasses by the end. 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:

How is the course delivered?

The course is online and can be started at any time and will take about 4-6 hours to complete. At the end there will be a short quiz and if you get over 70% you will receive a Certificate. 

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.

At the end there will be a short quiz and if you get over 70% you will receive a Certificate. 


Booking for another person?

If you are purchasing a course/s on behalf of another person, please follow these steps to ensure they can access their course/s:

  1. Create a student account using the student’s (whoever will be taking the course) details and contact information or use their existing student account.
  2. Including the correct billing address and information for the payment method that was used.
  3. Leave us a note in the ‘additional information’ box to let us know it was purchased with another person’s debit/credit card.
  4. Make sure to pass on the Username and Password to the student so they can get started on learning. All their course materials will be available on their account.


Booking for multiple people?

If you are purchasing courses on behalf of multiple other people, follow these steps to ensure they can access their course/s:

  1. Create a student account under your own details and add the correct number of courses for all the students you are purchasing for. (Example: If three people need to take Mammal ID, add it to basket three times).
  2. Ask each student (person who you have purchased the course for) to create their own student account on our website with their own details.
  3. Once purchased, contact us directly to let us know the Names, student account Usernames and Email Addresses for each student you have bought for.
  4. We will contact each of them directly with directions on how to purchase the course free of charge once it has been paid for already.

If you have any problems with this process, please get in touch – [email protected] or 03301653024