Irish Grasslands Project

The Irish Grasslands Project returned in 2021 with more events and webinars, details of which you can find below.

In 2020 we launched this project to increase awareness of Ireland's semi-natural grasslands and help to improve the identification skills needed to record them, whether you're a beginner or a more experienced botanist. We've aimed to provide a good grounding in the basics, including online training, with downloadable resources (see below) on Annex I grassland habitats. Find out more on social media under #IrishGrasslandsProject.

For more information, please contact the Ireland Officer, Paul Green.

Grassland on Inis Oirr by Maria Long

Summer 2021 Training Programme

2021's training programme included 4 field days and 5 online courses. All the online courses were recorded and are now available on the Irish Grasslands Project playlist, or linked individually below.

Online training sessions

  • 1st July we held a webinar on eight yellow members of the daisy family, led by Paul Green. You can see the video here and on the right.
  • 21st August Dr Fionnuala O'Neill led a webinar on Meadow-grass and Bent ID, two important but rather tricky genera. We've split and uploaded the recording into two: one with the general Introduction and Meadow-grasses and the other with the (same) Introduction and Bents. If you want to skip the introduction start 13.50 minutes in. Or view & download the slides in three parts: Introduction, Meadow-grasses and Bents.
  • 11th September - A general introduction to Cinquefoil (Potentilla) grassland species by Brenda Harold, BSBI Potentilla expert. Watch the video here.
  • 18th September - A more advanced webinar on Potentilla erecta, reptans, anglica and their hybrids, again by Brenda Harold. Watch the video here.
  • 25th September - Two talks on Why and How Fragrant-orchids are split into three species by Richard Bateman at the Irish Autumn Meeting. Watch Part 1 and Part 2

Field events

  • 24th June eight botanists enjoyed our first field trip of the season at Doneraile in Co. Cork lead by Paul Green, Ireland Officer and Edwina Cole.
  • 14th July we held a training field meeting on the ID of common grasses and meadow flowers led by Paul Green & Edwina Cole at Castletown, Co. Kildare
  • 28th July Paul held a grass ID day with members of the Wexford Naturalists' Field Club
  • 4th August Paul and Fiona MacGowan lead a day on identifying grasses and other meadow flowers at Ballacolla, Co. Laois.

Thanks to funding from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, to whom we are very grateful, all events were free.


There are lots of resources available to support learning about grasses and grasslands in Ireland. Below are a few that might be of interest. If you have suggestions for others, please let us know! We'll continue adding to the list throughout the project.

BSBI Ireland Annex I Grassland Resources *Updated November 2021*

This is a series of  free pdf resources created especially for the Irish Grasslands Project. The aim is to improve understanding of the four main Irish grassland types that are listed on Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive. We list the main indicator species, and provide additional information on selected species to help with identification. We hope you find them useful!


  • Grasses of the British Isles. BSBI Handbook No. 13 by Cope and Gray.
  • Identification guide to Ireland's Grasses. National Biodiversity Data Centre.
  • Grasses: A guide to their Structure, Identification, Uses and Distribution in the British Isles by Hubbard.
  • Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns of Britain and Northern Europe.  Collins Pocket Guide by Fitter, Fitter. & Farrer.
  • Colour Identification Guide to the Grasses, Sedge, Rushes and Ferns of the British Isles and north-western Europe by Rose.
  • Grasses, Ferns, Mosses & Lichens of Great Britain & Ireland by Phillips.
  • A Field Guide to Grasses, Sedges and Rushes.  The Species Recovery Trust by Price.
  • Start to Identify Grasses by Faith Anstey.
  • Start to Identify Sedges and Rushes by Faith Anstey.



Training 2020

We hosted 5 free online training courses last summer. The sessions were open to anyone and hundreds of people got involved! If you missed out or just want a refresher, you can download the slides from the presentations below (for personal study only).

Recordings of all five session sessions are also available on the right side of this page and on the Irish Grasslands Project playlist.

In case that isn't enough, we also have slides from the Rushes - ID tips to get you started presentation that Lynda gave at our Spring Conference in 2017.

Social Media

If you'd like to catch up on what happened in the first year of the project or keep up-to-date with new developments, follow the #IrishGrasslandsProject hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.

We also highlighted 15 of our fantastic grass species in "Grass of the Week" features throughout the summer on Twitter and Facebook: check out the #IrishGrassOfTheWeek hashtag. Thanks to Jessica Hamilton for her work on this.

Training Course Recordings

An Introduction to Cinquefoil (Potentilla) ID

Potentilla erecta, reptans, anglica and their hybrids

Meadow-grass (Poa) ID

Bent grasses (Agrostis) ID

Eight yellow members of the daisy family

Introduction to Grass ID

Vegetative Grass ID - Part 1

Vegetative Grass ID - Part 2

Introduction to Sedge ID

Introduction to Annex I Grasslands

Support for this project was generously provided by NPWS and CEDaR