The course fee in 2024 is £300.
Applicants employed professionally in complimentary fields are likely to have the course accepted as continuing professional development (CPD) by their employers. Non-professionals may be able to obtain a grant or bursary, especially if they are volunteers with an organisation that records or conserves wild plants. The BSBI and the Wild Flower Society both award grants annually; check availability and eligibility.
You will need a copy of The Wild Flower Key, Francis Rose, revised and updated by Clare O’Reilly, 2006 (available here from Summerfield Books, who offer a discount for BSBI Members). This guide is essential because we follow keys in it which are similar in structure to those in the New Flora of the British Isles, fourth edition, by Clive Stace. Where taxonomic revisions or name changes have occurred subsequent to 2006 these are all noted in the course units. Although there has not been a recent revision to this text, it is still an ideal learning tool for the course (as agreed by a committee of educationalists, county recorders and taxonomists). Other more up to date field guides are available for use in the field, but are not required for this course.
A x10 hand-lens is also essential (Summerfield also stock these) – an ordinary magnifying glass is not powerful enough. It is not necessary to purchase a more expensive lens at this stage and don’t buy one with a magnification greater than x10; these have an extremely small field of view and narrow depth of focus.