On Tuesday 21 June, Lower VI A Level Biologists travelled to Amersham Field Studies Centre for the Ecology component of their Biology course.
Upon arrival, students were met by the instructor for the day, James, and received an introduction to the day’s activities before heading to the woodlands to start.
The first task of the day was to study the population of woodlice in a given area, find as many as possible in ten minutes, and then mark them with a dot of tipex – which everyone was very enthusiastic about.
Later in the day, students returned with the same enthusiasm to catch as many as possible, including marked and unmarked ones – a task to estimate the population size of woodlice in the area sampled.
They then visited two different areas of woodland, coppiced and thinned, to collect data using quadrats to compare the biodiversity of each site. Students also sampled along a transect to find out the effect of trampling on plant species.
Upon returning to the classroom, James talked students through the analysis of the data to calculate Simpson’s Biodiversity Index and come to conclusions about the effects of biotic and abiotic factors in these habitats.
The field trip was very enjoyable, not only as it will help prepare them for exams, but also just being in nature and having hands-on experience was really interesting and gave students a deeper understanding of the environment and the effect humans have on ecosystems.