The Making of the Dorset Landscape: heaths, woodland and the coast

Ref: C3528448

The course integrates the physical background of the Dorset landscape with human activities. Formal lectures in the morning will be followed by an afternoon of field visits. The lectures will comprise a brief description of the varied geology of the area around Bournemouth and Poole, the soils it creates and there will be an introduction to physical processes that have shaped the land. Because virtually all the environments observed today have been created by human intervention with the natural world, there will be an exploration of the historical land management practices that have created the range of semi-natural habitats observed and valued in the present. The afternoon session will be concerned with visits to local areas that illustrate the information learned in the morning. Issues of modern conservation policy will be introduced, including the problem of maintaining habits.

Additional information about this course

Non SFA no fee remittance

Course aim

This course will describe the origins of the Dorset landscape. We will explore its physical basis and human intervention that has created the environments observed today.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • You will need to talk to a member of staff and do a short activity to make sure the course is right for you. For more information and to book an appointment please call 0300 303 3464

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • An understanding of the physical basis of the local landscape
  • An appreciation of the timescales involved
  • Some basic understanding of natural physical processes, particularly coastal, in creating habits
  • The impact of human economic activity in creating the landscape observed today
  • Some basic understanding of managing semi-natural habitats

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • The students should bring their own material for recording notes and be able to provide their own transport, preferable a shared car.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • While preliminary reading is not required, a short reading list will be provided in case students wish to undertake some orientation work in advance

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • This is not planned as part of a formal program of study, however individuals will be encouraged to explore further possibilities for study including vocational courses in conservation or explore other adult learning opportunities.

Download full Course information sheet

The Making of the Dorset Landscape: heaths, woodland and the coast

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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