COURSES aimed at reconnecting communities with their natural and cultural landscapes are on offer this summer.

As part of its Landscape Discovery project, the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership is hosting three different workshops in the County Durham countryside over the next few weeks.

A training workshop on the identification of plant species in limestone grassland takes place at the Bowlees Visitor Centre, in Upper Teesdale, on Wednesday, June 18.

Led by Fal Sarker, Elizabeth Elliott and Carole Sobkowiak of the Darlington and Teesdale Naturalists Field Club, the course aims to provide beginners with a basic introduction to the different plant species found within the habitat.

Bruce Ferguson will lead a bushcraft workshop, in Deepdale Woods, Barnard Castle, on Saturday, June 28, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

Participants will learn how to make the two basic requirements of survival – shelter and fire.

A training course in surveying and monitoring otters takes place at the Low Barns Visitor Centre, at Witton-le-Wear, on Saturday, July 12, led by Dr Vivien Kent, from the Durham Wildlife Trust.

The day-long event includes a presentation on otter ecology, identification and monitoring and a practical outdoor workshop looking for signs of otters within the nature reserve.

All three workshops are free but must be pre-booked.

A returnable deposit to secure places may be required.

Susie Lane, the HoT’s partnership's community officer, said: “We really hope that the local community benefits from these workshops and that they give those who attend the opportunity to gain a further insight into the wonderful landscape of this area.”

To book, call Ms Lane on 0300-026-4903 or email