An Introduction to Ferns
About the event
Ferns thrive best in the secluded half-light of damp woodlands. They are particularly common in the west of Britain where they are abundant even along the hedge banks which remain damp for a large part of the year.
This course is an introduction to the basic structure of ferns and their unusual life cycle. The morning will be spent in the classroom where the main focus will be on identification, especially those features used to identify the different species. In the afternoon we shall practice ID skills in the field (local sites).
By the end of the day it is expected that participants will feel confident in identifying most of our common woodland ferns as well as those found on rocks and stones. They will know the key differences between the major genera and species and be able to apply these to specimens found in the field. These will mostly involve details of leaf shapes and reproductive features.
The emphasis will be on the larger, frondose ferns of woodlands but we shall also consider some of the smaller ferns found on walls and overhanging streams.
Suitable for beginners and improvers.
Led by Ros Bennett, Botanist and Ecologist
Phone number01622 662012
PriceStandard fee: £35 per person per day.
Concessionary fee: Kent Wildlife Trust volunteers, senior citizens, unemployed and students £5 off.
Additional booking informationOther sites to be visited: Quarry Wood, Marden Meadow (both KWT reserves south of Maidstone) and two churchyards in the same vicinity, travelling in own cars, sharing transport where possible.
Suitable forAdults, Beginners
Know before you go
The route through Quarry Wood is about 1 mile and fairly uneven. The pace will not be fast, though we may walk briskly between species. Other sites involve little walking but some of the ferns are to be found in relatively inaccessible places. One stile involved. Regrettably the field visits are not wheelchair-friendly.
What to bring
Notebook and pencil. A x10 magnification hand lens (available on loan or for purchase during the course at £8.75) Suitable outdoor clothing and a picnic lunch. Sandwiches can be purchased at Tyland Barn. We shall not be near shops or a pub at lunchtime, but there will be access to a public toilet mid-afternoon (and there are plenty of bushes.)