Ecology Resources

The Wildlife Trust Ecology GroupsPhoto by Henry Stanier

Updated, and illustrated Heathland lichen (Cladonia) key now available, please see below.

We actively encourage surveys on our reserves and are keen to support any activities that add to our understanding of sites and species. Please get in touch if you are interested in surveying on our reserves.

Identification Keys

Getting to grips with a full range of species in many taxonomic groups can seem a daunting prospect to the beginner. 

But here in our three counties where we have no coasts or uplands or different climate zones to worry about it is often possible to reduce the choice of species to a more manageable number. 

This is the philosophy behind many of the identification keys provided here.In addition, many of the keys are more inclusive. The local checklists will tell you what species are known to occur in this area and how common or rare they are here.

We are happy for these resources to be:

  • copied for personal use.
  •  used for teaching purposes by other organisations and individuals. If you do wish to use them in this way, please contact us - we are keen to be kept informed about how these resources are being used and how we may improve them.

The Learning about plants factsheet was produced to help those living within our area and with an interest in vascular (higher) plants to learn more by attending courses, joining societies and groups and by attending field meetings.

The Literature list is an extensive bibliography covering subjects including conservation, ecology and species identification and status.

Comments and suggestions for improvements are welcome.

Each item carries an email address for the author or manager of the resource to whom comments should be sent.

Please also copy in Nick Millar to any correspondence.

General questions or comments should be emailed to

Please click on the relevant link below to download the pdf file required.

Fungi and lower plantsHypogymnia physodes by Brian Eversham

Common lichens key

Common lichens checklist

Heathland lichen (Cladonia) key

Lichens on willow key

Vascular (higher) plants      Carex acuta by Brian Eversham

Aquatic plants checklist

Ferns in woodland key

Ferns & horsetails checklist

Ferns on walls key

Horsetails key

Willows and osiers key

Willows and osiers checklist                              

Umbellifers checklist                                       

Yellow ligulate composites key

Yellow composites checklist

Sedges and family checklist

Rushes and wood-rushes checklist

Invertebrates                                       Great green bush cricket by Henry Stanier

Insect orders key

Grasshoppers and bush-crickets key

Grasshoppers and bush-crickets checklist

Water bugs wildlife profile

Water bugs key

Water bugs checklist

Ants key

Beetles family key

Soldier beetles and allies key

Soldier beetles checklist

Longhorn beetles key

Longhorn beetles checklist

Water beetles wildlife profile

Identifying British slugs

Vertebrates                                         Pipistrelle bat by Kim Taylor

Bat echolocation calls key

Bats wildlife profile

Dormice wildlife profile

Other resources    Emperor dragonfly exuvia by Henry Stanier

Learning about plants factsheet

Collecting dragonfly exuviae topic sheet

Literature list

Introduction to local bats