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Wed, 18 May



Bioindicators: What can weeds teach us?

What is a weed? We generally think of it as the wrong plant in the wrong place. But what if we viewed these plants as bioindicators that can inform us about soil health or management practices? Join us for a practical workshop to learn what weeds can teach us...

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Bioindicators: What can weeds teach us?
Bioindicators: What can weeds teach us?

Time & Location

18 May 2022, 13:00 – 17:00

FarmED, Station Rd, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Chipping Norton OX7 6BJ, UK

About the Event

What is a weed? We generally think of it as the wrong plant in the wrong place. But what if these plants are telling us something about our soil, or perhaps even our management decisions on farms? What if instead of viewing these plants as weeds, we began to think of them as Bioindicators? Might certain plants warn us of mineral deficiencies or surpluses, pH conditions or biological activity?

This afternoon practical workshop, led by Dr. Chris Maughan, will give you a new way of looking at farming landscapes while providing you with a quick and easy way to diagnose problems in the field without the time and financial costs often associated with lab-based tests. 

We'll begin by introducing the concept of bioindicators and how this term can apply to 'weeds' before heading out onto the farm to find out what the weeds at FarmED can tell us. While in the field you'll be led through a simple surveying methodology to enable you to try for yourself at home. 

All equipment will be provided, though a wild flower guide and/or a plant ID app (e.g. Plantnet) would be useful during the field survey session. Ticket prices include refreshments.

This workshop is part of an ongoing study being led by the Centre for Agroecology Water and Resilience which you can find out more about here

About the facilitator

Dr. Chris Maughan is an Assistant Professor of Agroecological Knowledge and Innovation Systems at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University. He is a transdisciplinary researcher whose work draws on years of experience as a community food grower and training in horticultural production.


Tiered Pricing

Delivery of our mission is a collective effort and our values embrace inclusivity and diversity. We don’t want price to be a barrier to anyone visiting FarmED or attending our events. Read more about our tiered pricing policy here.

The FarmED Bursary

If funding is a barrier to you, we can help. We have a small bursary pot which we can use to help fund or part fund course fees and other expenses for those that will benefit most. Click here for more info:

More information and booking

If you require more information about courses at FarmED please email

Your booking is safe. If we cannot run any element of the training face to face due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will be refunded, or you can switch to an alternative course/date.


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    Subsidised places available to existing and aspiring farmers, growers and advisers in Gloucestershire.

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