Looking at Trees

Ref: C3742464

This course is over 6 sessions. Beginning each session with tree biology we look at a selection of pre cut timber which demonstrate the inner workings of trees; showing such features as growth and decay. Expanding on these themes we then take a woodland walk, stopping to discuss particular examples within living trees. In the latter part of the course we look at the cultural heritage of trees. Week 1. What is a tree? How is a tree adapted for survival. Week 2. Tree structure, strength, flexibility and form. Week 3. Decay and defence. Week 4. Tree development from seed to veteran. Week 5. Cultural heritage and future stewardship. Week 6. An informal sharing of ideas and reflections. The course emphasis is practical tree study and yet it is hoped that we may develop additional conversations about nature writers/ artists and most importantly the thoughts and stories which participants may bring to the group. A level of fitness required for gentle walking.

Course aim

To promote the enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of trees in the woodland environment enabling students to make informed observations and routes of enquiry.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Basic level of fitness - gentle walking for an hour to one and a half hours with stops on the way. Inclines and declines present.

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

  • Develop a understanding of basic tree biology and explain some of the key features.
  • Develop a basic understanding of decay and defence in trees and explain how this occurs.
  • Develop a basic understanding of trees in the woodland environment and name three of the key features of their life cycles.
  • Develop a basic understanding of seasonal changes in tree ecology and explain three of its features.
  • Appreciate the benefits of walking in woodland in terms of Health and Well Being and be able to evaluate the impact of this on your own health and wellbeing

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • 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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Suitable clothing and footwear for changeable weather. Drinking water.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • This course could lead to a range of job opportunities. Follow link to National Careers Service for more details https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full Course information sheet

Looking at Trees


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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