Three Assistant Ecologists from our London office recently attended a training course on the identification of native trees and shrubs in winter. The course, run by Dominic Price and Leif Bersweden from the Species Recovery Trust, was held at the Natural History Museum. The course included a morning classroom session in the Angela Marmont Centre for Biodiversity and an afternoon outdoor session in the museum’s wildlife garden to put our new skills to the test.
Sarah Scott said, “Having previously struggled with hedgerow surveys in the winter months (everything just looked brown and twiggy without leaves or fruits!) I was amazed to learn that once you know what to look for it’s actually surprisingly simple. After a day spent looking at specimens from 26 common native tree and shrub species, and learning how to use a simple key, suddenly the subtle differences in twig structure, bark colour and bud shape become very apparent. I’m now the proud owner of my very own twig collection which is currently on display in the office for other Ecologists to test their skills!”
The participants were given a copy of the excellent photo ID book written by the course leaders, recently published as a Field Studies Council guide. You can view it here: http://www.field-studies-council.org/publications/pubs/winter-trees-a-photographic-guide-to-common-trees-and-shrubs.aspx