A selection of Arbtech‘s graduate ecologists took part in a training course ran by Sue Searle of Ecology Training UK. It was conducted in June at a location in Hampshire and focused on building the skills of ecological surveyors and consultants in identifying and categorising grasses, plants and trees.

Working for Arbtech carries numerous incentives, including the opportunity to utilise an unlimited CPD budget. All employees of the company are able to develop and build knowledge in relevant areas to contribute to the growth of their personal skills and professional development.

Alongside assisting in expanding and strengthening each surveyor’s skillset, certifications, conferences, formal education and training courses only benefits Arbtech, enabling clients to receive the highest standard service, effective solutions and support from professionals with a complete understanding of the corresponding subject areas.

Beginner’s Botany Course from Ecology Training UK

Created with the aim of removing any confusion or apprehension around plant identification, the beginner’s botany course from Ecology Training UK supplies ecologists with the necessary proficiency for whenever they are exposed to a wide range of common plants. Attendees are then able to go on to recognise plants correctly afterwards, giving them key skills that will support ecology surveys and similar activities.

Over two days, the course involved coverage of multiple topics, including a breakdown of riparian habitat and species from unimproved grassland, help with determining plant families, clues based on examples for each family and features that are typically considered for identifying plants, instructions for using keys and field guides properly, and exercises in grass and tree workshops.

a botany training course attended by Arbtech's team of surveyors


As an ecologist or another professional that wants to grow their knowledge of botany, the beginner’s botany course through Ecology Training UK would be ideally suited. You can then advance your understanding of botany and use the course to enhance your plant identification skills for surveys and other practices moving forwards.

Prior to choosing Ecology Training UK as your course provider, you may be interested to read feedback from individuals that have experienced the exercise first-hand. With the intention of giving you all you need to know before comitting, in the section below, you will find honest and detailed reviews from all Arbtechers that attended the course:

Charlie Drapala

I really enjoyed the course.

Over two days, we did some classroom-based learning and then went out in the field. We mainly covered how to identify the main families that most plants in the UK fit into so that we could then have a starting place on where to look in the guidebook for the plant we’re trying to identify.

I’m not going to lie – it’s still pretty tricky; there are a lot of plant words that I think I’ll need to figure out in order to actually make sure that the description matches the plant. I think the training should have covered more plant anatomy terms and what these words refer to on a plant because you can’t really confirm the identity of a plant if it says it has no stipules, for example, and certainly not if you don’t know what a stipule is!

Apart from that, it was really good. We covered common trees and a few types of grass, and it suitably sets me up for going out and doing my own homework on plants in real life.

Rhiannon Jensen O’Brien

The course was a great insight into wildflower identification that taught us plant families and characteristics to look for when trying to identify plants.

Sue Searle from ETUK was a great teacher and gave us useful techniques to help us identify that didn’t just include using confusing and overwhelming keys.

We had a quiz on the second day that proved there was already a great improvement in identifying wildflowers. We also gained some good knowledge of tree and grass identification, with practice on some interesting sites in the area.

Arbtech surveyors attending a botany training course

Romy Poole

I found the two-day beginner’s botany course by ETUK to be extremely helpful, interesting and fun!

The combination of practical and theory really helped me to understand what it is I’m looking for. I especially liked how I was taught the theory aspect first so that when I go out in the field, I have a much better understanding of what species are around.

We were able to make our own scrapbooks using leaves, flowers and grasses that we collected while out in the field, which I know I will use a lot while carrying out different surveys. Being able to refer back to our scrapbooks has improved my identification skills massively.

I would recommend this course to anyone who has little to no knowledge of botany. I had a great time and can now identify a range of trees, plants and grasses that I couldn’t before.

Becky Roe

The beginner’s botany course was an interesting two days.

It was a great insight into both wildflowers and trees for someone who has little prior experience.

There was a mixture of both classroom and fieldwork, which kept the course interesting and engaging. We created our own tree and wildflower indicator books, and at the end of the course, we were tested on our knowledge, where it was great to see how much we had all learned over the space of just two days.

Most importantly, the course has equipped me with the basic skills to build on and create further botany knowledge.

Giorgina Shaw

The course was great.

I learned so much and it was definitely the best botany course/lecture I’ve attended.

The course was half classroom-based and half out in the field. We learned about plant identification and all of the British plant families, as well as trees. It was great to then put what we learned into practice and get out in the field.

We produced our own plant taxonomic collection, where we collected samples for ourselves and were able to keep them, and they also put our knowledge to the test by giving us a quiz at the end.

It was definitely worth it, I learned so much, and I would recommend it to new starters or anyone wanting to get into botany!