Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

Vegetation Survey Training Course

This practical two-week Vegetation Survey course, led by specialists from Kew's Botanical and Geographical Information Systems teams, offers an introduction to the techniques and technology available for classifying and mapping vegetation at regional and local scales. It is particularly designed for those carrying out surveys for conservation agencies or extractive industries.
Photo of two students look at mobile phone device
Vegetation survey course

Course details

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has a long history of carrying out vegetation surveys in many parts of the world and is ideally placed to offer this kind of course. Taught by staff from Kew and its partner institutes, the course comprises lectures on:

  • fundamentals of vegetation classification and characterisation
  • survey methods and basics of mapping
  • sampling techniques and design for environmental studies
  • introductory GIS, remote sensing, use and fundamentals of GPS
  • importance and use of local knowledge
  • field soil identification
  • how to present findings to clients and users  


The next course will run in September 2014 - dates to be confirmed. 


The course runs for two weeks from 9:00 – 5:30 Monday - Friday


The course is based in the Kew Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives (situated next to Elizabeth Gate), about 15 minutes walk from Kew Gardens Underground station (District Line/London Overground) and ten minutes walk from Kew Bridge station (South West Trains).

How to get the the HLAA (map)


The course fee is £1500 which covers teaching costs, course materials and accommodation, transport and meals during field work. It does not include accommodation or meals at Kew. Funds for travel to Kew and subsistence must be sought elsewhere. In certain circumstances fees can be reduced (eg student cost is £750) – please contact the organisers. A deposit of 50% of the total fee is required on confirmation of a place.

Who is the course designed for?

The course has been designed for conservation and environmental professionals and those involved with industrial development (eg extractive industries). It is also suitable for graduate students, ecologists, zoologists and others in the field of natural resource management.

How is the course taught?

All survey and mapping techniques are illustrated with case studies and site visits. Practical components will take place at Kew with two days of practical fieldwork in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex.

How to apply for the course

Applications for a place on the course should be submitted using the online application form (below) or by downloading a Specialist Vegetation Survey training course application form and sending it to us.

For further information, contact the Course Coordinator, Jonathan Timberlake, at


In order to attend these courses at Kew, students from outside the European Economic Area may need to apply for a Student Visitor Visa from the UK Border Agency to enter the UK. For this purpose, Kew is accredited by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education as a Short Course Provider.

Further information will be provided to course applicants – you will need to be accepted onto a course before you can apply for a student visitor visa.