An Introduction to Ferns

fern photo (Anne Waite.)

fern (Anne Waite)

An Introduction to Ferns

Location: Tyland Barn, Sandling, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3BD
Discover how to recognise our native ferns using leaf shapes and other distinctive features.

Event details

Meeting point

Training Room at Tyland Barn


10:00am - 5:00pm
A static map of 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

We will be taking bookings for this course soon.


Phone number

01622 662012


Standard fee: £35 per person per day.
Concessionary fee: Kent Wildlife Trust volunteers, senior citizens, unemployed and students £5 off.

Additional booking information

Other sites to be visited: Quarry Wood, Marden

Suitable for

Adults, Beginners

Know before you go


Guide dogs only


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.)


Picnic area
Accessible toilet
Baby changing facilities

Contact us

Jill Evington
Contact number: 01622 662012