Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 Hours.
Practical 7 days
Seminars / Tutorials 3 Hours. 3 x 1 hour


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Course Work: 1 field report and 1 project report  100%
Supplementary Assessment Extended essay plus viva 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module the student will

  • have practiced their plant identification skills
  • have an appreciation of plant strategies in various communities and an
  • understanding of how vegetation can be analysed and described
  • acquire some practical expedition skills.


This excursion, held under canvas in the central area of Cantabria, aims to integrate quantitative aspects of plant field ecology with plant indentification taking into account climatic and other environmental influences on vegetation and community structure.


The module begins with three introductory meetings where students organise themselves into groups and plan finances and provisioning for the course.
On arrival at the Picos de Europa, the students are introduced to the flora of the area,
exemplified by plants occurring in L`Hermida Gorge and lectures on the overall vegetation in the Liebana Valley. Emphasis is placed on an altidudinal belt sequence of woodland types from evergreen mediterranean to treelines and krummholz.
Further studies include investigation of snow patch vegetation, diversity of alpine and sub-alpine meadows and the influence of grazing, fire and liming on heathland. Field studies are augmented by lectures in the evenings and time is allocated to the discussion of field course write-ups and the key features of recording information in field note books.

Specific group work is carried out in the field each day in addition to data collected on students` individual projects. Students have the opportunity to experience working, camping and cooking as a group and some dedication is necessary to push the work forward under less than perfect academic conditions.

Reading List

Multiple Copies In Hugh Owen
Clapham, AR, Tutin,TG & Warburg, EF Excursion flora of the British isles Cambridge Univerity Press. Primo search Hubbard, C E (1984) Grasses Penguin Books Ltd. Primo search Rose, F (1981) The wild flower key Penguin Books Ltd. Primo search

Crawford, R M N (1989) Studies in plant survival Blackwell Scientific Publications. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6