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Bryophytes and Ferns with Dr Paul L Smith

Friday 29 November 2019 at 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

This is a two-day course to introduce and develop understanding of bryophytes and ferns and to develop skills in their identification. It is aimed at beginners. Students can attend one or both days. This course will open the door to a fascinating group of organisms able to tell us much about the environments in which they are found and how these might be changing. Bryophytes and their distribution patterns can tell us how the environment itself is evolving due to air pollution and climate change.

This course will be delivered by Dr Paul L Smith BSc MIEEM CEnv. Paul is a formally trained botanist who has practiced in the academic and consultancy sectors for 40 years including work for Local Authorities, Natural England, Multi-national consultancies, and the Wildlife Trusts. Paul has a special interest in solving botanical conflicts with development and land use change. You can find out more about Paul’s commercial work here.

Day 1: Introduction to Bryophytes and Ferns (23rd October) 

Aims: The intention of day 1 will be to provide beginners with sufficient knowledge of mosses, liverworts and ferns to understand the differences between them and to begin to investigate the groups independently. No former knowledge of the subject is required.

The study of these species can be a rewarding hobby or a lifetime of scientific study but either way it offers a key to a broader understanding of the natural world and how it is changing. Bryophytes especially offer the opportunity to find new species in winter when many other plants are dormant, thus extending opportunities for fieldwork.

Day 2: Starting to identify bryophyte species independently (29th November)

Aims: The intention of day 2 will be to look at mosses and liverworts in more detail. Students will examine a range of provided specimens and will also collect, identify and label their own samples from the botanic garden. Attendance of Day 1 will be useful for Day 2. The role of amateur recorders and consultant botanists will also be examined. By the end of this day, students will be familiar with about 20 local bryophyte species and ready to identify more.

£65 per day

Book your place

Booking is essential. Book your place using the University online shop for day two here.

You will need to register your details. You will only be charged once you have confirmed your booking.

Enrolment will close 2 days before the start of the course. We only accept online bookings.

Contact us
If you have any questions contact us at or call 0117 42 82041


Friday 29 November 2019
10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Event Categories:


University of Bristol Botanic Garden
The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop
Bristol, BS9 1JG United Kingdom
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0117 42 82041