On 25 April the Lower Sixth biology students set out to Orielton Field Centre in Pembrokeshire to spend the next few days developing our practical skills and applying what we’d learnt in our A-level studies.
Despite Storm Hannah’s rain and 60mph winds, we got the chance to explore both coast and forest during our time and we spent the first afternoon on the local rocky shores, collecting data about the different species of seaweed and snail. We used line transects and other methods of sampling to analyse the distribution of snails, comparing the snail population near and away from the shore.
The next day we spent planning and carrying out individual research projects in the local woodland for the practical endorsement aspect of our biology studies, as well as a short workshop on sampling. For example, some students investigated how leaf length of certain species varied due to light intensity, or how biodiversity differed between certain areas.
We spent most of the afternoon and evening writing up our results and method, including a statistical analysis of our results, research into the plant species or area we were investigating and a conclusion based on our statistical test and the factors we’d observed.
On the final day, we investigated biodiversity on sand dunes to put our knowledge of succession into practice. All in all, this trip was a great opportunity to both go beyond the curriculum and reinforce our pre-existing knowledge of ecology.