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Grassland Training at Kingcombe Meadows

July 8, 2008

Today the V-Team had the chance to swot up on their grass identification skills as part of a National Vegetation Classification Survey training day at Kingcombe Meadows.

Alison, Georgie, Lucie and Natalie made up the V-Team for today. We were going to Kingcombe Meadows Reserve to take part in a training day which would transform us into grassland experts  by the end of it – or something like that! None of us really knew very much about grasses before today (apart from the fact that they make Alison sneeze!) so we were keen to find out what there was to learn.

The training day was organised for anyone with an interest in conservation and wildlife to come along and learn how to identify a variety of grasses and how to carry out a vegetation classification survey  so that they could then go away and carry one out by themselves. There were about 20 other people in addition to the V-Team, so we were split into groups of 4 or 5 and then went off to different sites. At each site we were all given a set area to look at and had to try to identify the different grasses – with the help of an identification guide of course!

During the day we somehow managed to get lost! Ross had gone off to the toilet (again!) and we were waiting and waiting for him before we had to go off to our next site. By the time he had finished and we walked to where we thought we were supposed to be, everyone else had seemingly vanished! Just when we were beginning to wonder where we should be, we bumped into someone sent out to find us. That was lucky! The rest of the day, you will be glad to hear, went without any problems.

 It was quite surprising just how much there was to learn about grasses and it was all very interesting and relevant to the courses we are studying at college and university. After all our training we can now identify purple rye grass, annual meadow grass, common bent, foxtail grass and Yorkshire fog, just to name a few! So now when we are next out in the wild, we will be able to put our newly-gained knowledge into practice.

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