Grasses, Sedges and Rushes - 2 day course 2022

Jun 7 - 8, 2022 · Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Grass, sedge and rush identification - Salisbury and The New Forest

Grass, Sedge & Rush Identification

A 2 day course giving participants:

  • the skills and confidence to identify a wide range of grasses, sedges and rushes.
  • a simple way to identify grass species
  • an understanding of grasses as indicator species
  • a crib sheet listing the key features of the 90 most common species
  • a chance to see a wide range of lowland habitat types

These training days will give participants the confidence to identify a wide range of grasses and sedges (using largely non-flowering features) commonly encountered in a range of habitats.

The first day focuses on grasslands and calcareous habitats, looking at common species, as well as more specialised indicator species of meadows and unimproved grassland.

The second day will look at the species to be found in damp and acidic habitats, including heathlands, acid grasslands, bogs and mires.

Each day will cover roughly 30 species and will be run on the basis of people having no previous knowledge. In general, the mornings will involve teaching the species and the afternoons will involve revising and being tested on them.

The workshops will be carried out in several locations from the stunning New Forest to the hill-forts surrounding Salisbury, and provide the opportunity to discuss some of the conservation management issues of these habitats, as well as the difficulties of identifying grasses in grazed and mown habitats.

Tutor: Dominic Price

About the tutor:

Dominic Price is a highly regarded botanical tutor and has been running courses for all levels of ecologists since 2007. He is director of The Species Recovery Trust and specialises in the conservation of endangered species. He is the author of A Field Guide to Grasses, Sedges and Rushes and co-author of The Photographic Guide to Winter Trees and Shrubs. 

What to bring

  • Notebook/clipboard
  • Hand lens (there will be some to purchase on the day)
  • Packed lunch for the Old Sarum Day
  • £3 for parking at Old Sarum (contactless payment available)
  • Footwear appropriate for wet bogs on the second day
  • Plenty of liquids

It is not compulsory to eat at the pub on the second day but please consider doing so if you would like to use their facilities! They do offer a good range of affordable meal options.

The recommended text for the course is 'A Field Guide to Grasses, Sedges and Rushes' by Dominic Price. Available to purchase on the day, as an 'add-on' on the ticket options, or in advance here

Please visit our training resources page before the course to download a species list for the day, and take the Buzzfeed grasses quiz, and Buzzfeed rushes and sedges quiz to test your knowledge prior to attending the course.

There are loos at Old Sarum on Day 1, as well as a small kiosk selling hot drinks and ice creams (and swords, just in case you have sword requirements).

On Day 2 there are no loos until we reach the pub (but plenty of clumps of Gorse!). If you are keen to use the loo on arrival the pub has kindly said we can use their loos in the morning, in which case keep heading down to the pub and say you're with Dominic.

Please inform us of any relevant medical requirements/conditions we should be aware of prior to the course. 

Lifts available from Salisbury station on request.

Day 1

9.50        Welcome and start10.00      First tutorial session 12.30      Lunch (or shorter if weather bad) 1.15        Second tutorial/revision session 2.00        Participants to carry out practice survey 3.15        Discussion of results 3.30        Final look at key species from day 3.45        Departure

Day 2

10.00     Meet at High Corner carpark 10.10     Introduction to Heathland and Acid Grassland and Mire grasses 12.30     Lunch at the High Corner Inn 1.30       Walk to Ogdens Valley Mire via sandy grassland 1.40       Acid Grassland and Mire revision sessions 4pm       Depart

Any problems on the day please call Dominic Price on (07968) 786390 


Day 1 Old Sarum is signed off the A345 2 miles north of Salisbury. Meet in the main car park (where there are loos). Address: Castle Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire - SP1 3SD There is a £3 charge for parking (contactless payment available).

Google maps - click here

Day 2

Meet at the High Corner Carpark (Follow signs to High Corner Inn - BH24 3QY). Follow bumpy gravel track and meet in the carpark on the left before you head down the hill  to the pub. 

Google maps  - click here

Feedback from previous courses‘Excellent course. The teacher was very good indeed, and I thoroughly enjoyed the course’‘I learnt some brilliant identification tips to take away with me and it was good to learn about where you are likely to find species and which ones are indicators of good habitat/NVC communities’‘Really enjoyable course, felt like I learnt a lot which has really stuck since using it out in the field on my own. Not too many species that make it overwhelming.’‘Excellent course, thank you! I will definitely recommend this course to others.’‘Genuinely spot on, tutor was incredibly attentive to individual knowledge levels’

A charity devoted to saving some of the UK's most endangered species

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