Day And Residential Courses

Aimed at interested adults. For further details about cost, accommodation and booking, please contact the venue via address/phone/email below to receive further information when it is available - or phone me. Note that many courses book up months beforehand. Most centres accept non-residential bookings too. Weekend (W/E) courses start on Friday evening and usually end on Sunday after lunch.

Sat Dec 2nd 2017 Dayschool on Christmas and its Customs - Oxford

posted 17 Mar 2017, 08:07 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 28 Jul 2017, 09:05 ]

A day concentrating on many aspects of Christmas from the Gospel accounts to the difference between Father Christmas and Santa Claus. A look at robins, turkeys and mince pies. From carols to snowmen, holly, ivy and Christmas trees and not forgetting the four candles (of Advent).

Details and bookings  from Rewley House, The University of Oxford 01865 270368 Email

Two new dayschools at Madingley Hall Cambridge - Sat Nov 4th and Sun Nov 5th 2017

posted 17 Mar 2017, 08:01 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 28 Jul 2017, 09:14 ]

Sat Nov 4th Fungal Facts, Folklore and Foraging

Sun Nov 5th Plants as Food and Medicine

Each course runs from 10.00 am to 4.45 pm and includes coffee, lunch and afternoon tea
phone 01223 746262 or e-mail for more details and bookings

Tue April 4th 10.30 am (Easter) and Tue April 11th (Plant Hunters/Botanical Illustration) 12noon

posted 4 Jan 2016, 14:56 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 17 Mar 2017, 07:53 ]

Two new talks to be held at Sheffield Central Library, Surrey Street, Sheffield. No charge but if possible phone to book a place.
Patrick will talk about the many aspects of Easter including the date issue, Easter eggs and bunnies along with when cross buns became hot!
Along with my wife  Jean Binney (Botanical artist) the second talk will include the chance to see some of the collection of botanical art in books held in the basement of the library

Saturday April 15th 2017 Easter - A new talk covering many facets of the Easter Story

posted 4 Jan 2016, 06:30 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 17 Mar 2017, 07:30 ]

As part of the exhibition about Easter to be held at Haddon Hall near Bakewell, Derbyshire - Patrick (who worked on the text for the exhibition) will be giving his talk in the famous Long Gallery at 12 noon on Easter Saturday. There is no extra charge for this talk over and above the normal admission charge to the Hall and availability is on the day at a first come basis. 

Saturday June 24th Wild Flowers of the Peak District - based in Hathersage

posted 4 Jan 2016, 06:22 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 26 Dec 2016, 04:09 ]

A day (10.30 - 3.30) devoted to the flowers of the Peak District. Inside sessions will include illustrated talks about the Peak and its different habitats plus a look at some of the iconic flowers of the White and Dark Peak. Most of the day will be spent in the field, concentrating on limestone habitats. Patrick will give tips on identification and also talk about the medicinal properties of the plants seen. Patrick is author of the book Wild Flowers of the Peak District - now a collector's item!

Based at St Michael's Environmental Education Centre, Main Road, Hathersage S32 1BB

Further information and booking: or phone 01433 650309

June 10th (Saturday) 11.00 - 3.30 Plants as Food and Medicine in Nottinghamshire

posted 4 Jan 2016, 04:55 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 26 Dec 2016, 03:13 ]

A day organised by the Forestry Commission and based at the Sherwood Pines Forest Park near Edwinstowe. A day of two parts - one looking at edible wild plants, the other at the medicinal use of wild plants.
There will be books to look at and illustrated talks with handouts to augment the two forays in to the forest to find some of the plants mentioned in the talks. From wild garlic and dandelion coffee to the medicinal use of plants such as chickweed, raspberry and water mint.

Further details and bookings   phone 01623 821459

June 17th (Saturday) The Plant Hunters - based in Oxford

posted 4 Jan 2016, 04:45 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 26 Dec 2016, 03:13 ]

A day school at Rewley House for Oxford University.

A voyage through 400 years of plant hunting from many different parts of the world. Starting with the father and son team of the John Tradescants we will move on to Joseph Banks who apart from his world voyage laid the ground work for Kew Gardens, development continued by another father and son team - William and Joseph Hooker. David Douglas led the way for introductions in the early 19th century from the west coast of North America and the opening up of China and neighbouring countries brought new delights and commercial crops by way of Robert Fortune, Ernest Wilson and others. The course will look at the people, their expeditions and how these were influenced by politics and trade. Most of all we will look at the huge range of garden plants introduced by the intrepid plant hunters.

More details and booking    phone 01865 270 368         50% booked up by early January

June 25th - 26th (Sun to Mon) The Oak in Natural History, History and Literature

posted 4 Jan 2016, 04:28 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 26 Dec 2016, 03:12 ]

A course run by the University of Cambridge based at Madingley Hall to the west of Cambridge set in a Capability Brown landscape, and offering a very high standard of accommodation and food. The course starts with lunch on Sunday and runs until 15.30 pm on Monday.

A multidisciplinary course starting with a look at the oak in legend, folklore and history. Two sessions will be devoted to identification of British oaks and the natural history associated with oaks and oak woodland - including flowering plants, lichens, fungi, insects, birds and mammals. We will also look at the many uses of oak and see why it has been such an important tree, not just for its timber. There will also be a session looking at the oak in poetry and prose with inputs from class members. The final session will be in the garden and grounds of Madingley looking at oaks!

Further information and booking      phone 01223 746262 

June 30th - July 2nd (Weekend) Wild Flowers In Wiltshire - based in Swindon

posted 3 Jan 2016, 07:15 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 26 Dec 2016, 03:23 ]

A summer weekend devoted to our native British wild flowers. Excursions will take us up on the Downs (!) where the chalk grassland includes a huge number of attractive flowers, among them lots of orchids. We will also include waterside and hay-meadow habitats. Patrick will give us aids to identification in the field and in illustrated talks at Shaw. Some of the medicinal uses and folklore connected to the plants will be discussed. 
Based at Lower Shaw Farm with excellent organic, vegetarian food and even the chance to try the wood-fired sauna!

Further information and booking from   phone 01793 771080

September 9th (Sat) Trees in the Peak. September 10th (Sun) Fungi in the Peak

posted 3 Jan 2016, 07:01 by Patrick Harding   [ updated 26 Dec 2016, 04:32 ]

Two stand alone days (10.30 - 3.30 pm) - participants may chose to attend on either or both days - accommodation on Saturday night can be included. The days are linked in that fungal identification is closely linked to being able to identify our native British trees.

The tree day will include illustrated talks on our native trees and their uses plus aids to identification and some folklore about trees. The central part of the day will be an excursion to put theory into practice looking at a range of native and introduced trees in the Peak District. Patrick is the author of Collins How to ID trees

The fungus day will include illustrated talks about fungi and the features used in identification plus a session on edible fungi. The central part of the day will be an excursion to look for and identify fungi in both grassland and woodland sites. Patrick is the author of four books about fungi including Collins Gem Guide to Mushrooms.

Based at St Michael's Environmental Education Centre, Main Road, Hathersage, Derbyshire S32 1BB

For further information and booking:  or phone 01433 650 309

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