Biology Field Course Residential

Last month, 50 Year 12s completed a Field Course Residential weekend at Nettlecombe Field Studies Centre. Throughout the weekend they got to put some of their theoretical knowledge into practice, and see how ecologists use their skills in real life. This included small mammal trapping, coastal sampling and plant identification

Year 12 student Zoe shares their experience,

“Over the weekend, a group of us went to Somerset  on a Biology fieldwork trip. Straight away, we were into our wellies and knee-deep in a stream, collecting invertebrates using kick sampling to determine whether there was a higher level of invertebrate biodiversity in more stagnant parts of the stream compared with faster flowing areas. The following day, we went to the beach and (alongside sunbathing!) we sampled the snails found living on the rocks vs the rock pools which was really interesting. I think the ice cream afterwards was also a big hit!

On the final morning, we got to open our small mammal traps set out the night before. We used Longworth traps which are completely safe for the mammals and even provide a warm bed and food. Despite being told to only expect a handful of small mammals (including mice and voles) over half our traps had caught the sweetest looking mice ever! We quickly weighed them then set them free but it was definitely a highlight for many.

The afternoon was spent counting flowers and other plants in quadrats, having a picnic in the bright sunshine and playing football with Mr Balmer. Overall, we all really enjoyed the trip and had lots of fun whilst learning lots as well.”