photo by Guy Edwardes

Ancient Woodland Indicators

Location: West Horsley Place, Epsom Road, West Horsley, KT24 6AN
Fully booked
Learn to assess the 40 indicators of ancient woodland in this beautiful and diverse natural setting.

Event details


10:00am - 3:00pm
A static map of Ancient Woodland Indicators

About the event

 All Trust events and activities taking place from 1st September onwards will be carried out in line with current government guidelines and Health & Safety practices at that time.  As this will change over the coming weeks and months, we ask that you check regularly on the website for updates as any of these events may be subject to change or cancellation.

Please help to protect our staff and other members by not attending any of these events if you or anyone in your household is feeling ill or have symptoms of Covid-19.

This is a one day course that will introduce you to ancient woodlands and their indicators. Whilst the focus will be on ancient woodland indicators, other plant species will be discussed and ancient woodland features mentioned. The day will begin with class-based learning, but the majority of the day (weather dependent) will be out in the woodlands of West Horsley Place. Over 40 ancient woodland indicators have been recorded here .

Participants should have a basic knowledge of plants and common plant families but it will be suitable for beginners who have some prior knowledge and understanding of plants such as ecologists, consultants and other interested parties.

Upon completion of this course, delegates will have gained knowledge of at least 15 ancient woodland indicators (including herbs, grasses, sedges and trees), and will have improved skills of identification required for woodland surveys or general appreciation of woodlands.

Breakdown of the day (provisional)

Introduction to ancient woodlands

Introduction to those found in Surrey

Providing background information on West Horsley Place ancient woodlands

Details on ancient woodland indicators, with examples

Practical workshop on a few ancient woodland indicators

Looking at different identification keys

Outside learning in the ancient woodlands

Consolidation of the days learning

Tutor - Isobel Girvan

My name is Isobel Girvan and I have been working as an ecologist for over twenty years now and I still love it. There is always more to see, find out and learn about. I started off by completing my Geographical and Environmental degree at Roehampton Institute, after which I spent just over a year with the Somerset Environmental Records Centre. This began my passion for botanical surveying and identifying.

My current role is of Principal Ecologist at SWT Ecology Services. The work is varied from advising home owners about planning applications to supplying botanical species lists for local conservation volunteer groups to providing habitat management plans to local authorities.

I am a self-confessed geek, during the summer months I love nothing more than going out with local groups at weekends on botanical field meetings. Not only can I sometimes help to identify plants, but also learn new id points, whilst also picking up on the latest gossip and seeing beautiful places in Surrey and Hampshire. Come the winter months I then swop over to looking at mosses and liverworts, but this is an on-going project as I still regard myself as a novice.

I also have a family to look after, plenty of historical novels to read and box-sets to catch up on. I look forward to meeting you.

Click here for more information about how we are keeping all of our courses COVID safe.




members £45/non-members £57

Suitable for


Know before you go


We will be walking short distances on uneven ground.

What to bring

Please bring a packed lunch and wear sturdy walking boots. 

Parking information

free parking is available.


Picnic area

Contact us

Adult Learning Team
Contact number: 01372379523