Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Winter Warm-up to Spring!

Looking to improve your ecology or botany skills this autumn? Want a flexible online course with mentor help? Why not grab a mug of steaming cocoa, put your feet up and warm your tootsies by the fire whilst studying one of our ecological and botanical courses?

To learn more about our courses got to

Friday, 28 September 2018


Ever been needled by stitch, that sharp pain in the side whilst exercising? Greater Stitchwort, Stellaria holostea, was used as a herbal remedy to treat this affliction.

The deeply notched petals make it appear to have 10 petals although there are only 5. The genus name Stellaria is derived from 'stellar' meaning star-like referring to the flower shape. The species name holostea is derived from a Greek word 'holosteon' meaning entire bone. Apparently, this refers to the brittleness of the weak stems.

Old Man's Beard

Traveller's Joy, Clematis vitalba, is from the Buttercup family and also known as Old Man's Beard due to the feathery fruits. Good for pollinators, but folklore suggests it does the work of the devil by choking other vegetation in the hedgerows!

This is the only UK native clematis and a vigorous climber. Once it has finished flowering, the feathery heads aid seed dispersal.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Carline Thistle Great Orme

Carline Thistle (Carlina Vulgaris)

This thistle from the Asteraceae family grows on dry well grazed calcareous soils.  The photograph below was taken on the Great Orme, Llandudno on 27th July. Limestone dominates in this location (and also dolomite) and the grassland is well grazed by sheep and Kashmir goats. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Botany for Beginners

Want to improve your botanical Identification skills? Are you a conservation professional or volunteer or a hobby botanist? Want to learn at your own pace with guidance and support on hand?

Enrol on our online, flexible modular training course with mentor support. Gain skills to help towards gaining a FISC level or to prove your commitment for ecological memberships and also gain certificates of participation and achievement towards your CPD.

To learn more, go to: 


call 07743 712020 

Common Cow Wheat (Melampyrum pratense)

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Garden Lady's Mantle

Alchemilla mollis

The scientific genus name Alchemilla is derived from the word alchemy and refers to the belief that drops of dew from the leaves could turn base metal into gold.

The species name Mollis means soft or smooth.

Friday, 18 May 2018


An example of fasciation in a Bulbous Buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus) where a disruption in the growth of cells has caused abnormal growth. Note the flattened, fused stem and heads.