On the first day we set off for the River Piddle near
Wareham to study freshwater ecology. The visit was also to measure the water
quality of the Piddle using techniques employed by the Department for the
Environment (DEFRA). We were treated to finding eels and bullhead fish in our
‘kick samples’ as well as many of the key indicator species of clean water
The second day took us to the SSSI Studland Peninsula. We studied sand dune succession from the pioneer plants adjacent to the beach to the plagioclimax communities inland. We used an interrupted belt transect technique running across the dunes into an area that is managed by the National Trust. We looked at the influences of abiotic factors on the distribution and zonation of plant species.
The final morning was ‘write up’ time, although we did also get involved in the capture and release techniques involved with mammal population counting.
On the last evening quadrats and data analysis were abandoned for a late evening pumpkin carving competition and a feast of bannock bread and pumpkin soup cooked over a log fire under the starlit Halloween sky!
Future A level Biologists – mark this date because the next two years trips are already planned.
Biology alumni, send us your memories and maybe a picture for a trip
down memory lane.
Mr Craven, Ms Cullen, Mr Stevens and Mr O’Connor, Biology tutors.
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