The Union is preparing a series of simplified keys to help beginners to get started with a new group of plants. They concentrate on species common in S Lancashire, W Yorkshire and Cheshire and should be easier to use than the comprehensive keys in the standard books. They have definite limitations and it is MOST IMPORTANT to become aware of these by reading the GENERAL INTRODUCTION, before using any key. (To return to this page, please use the 'back' button on your web browser.)

Currently, the keys are tentative; they could possibly contain ambiguities or errors (see the General Introduction).

Subject to that warning, we hope that they will still be useful to beginners. We would be grateful for comments and suggestions; in particular, we hope that experienced NWNU members will review and field-test the keys to help us to refine them.

The keys are a communal effort by members of the NWNU. Please send any comments to John Lowell, who acts as general editor, at (Paste the e-mail address into your e-mail program and remove the 1234).

The keys that are presently available, are:

You can view any key (and then print it, if required) by clicking the appropriate item in the above list. This requires the Adobe Acrobat reader. (If you don't have the reader it may be downloaded HERE.)

If you wish you can also download keys to your computer by right-clicking on the link with your mouse and clicking on 'Save Target As'.