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Archway School

Year 12 Biology Conservation Field Trip with the Royal Agricultural University 

On a bright March morning, 15 A Level Biology students set out into the Gloucestershire countryside on a field trip hosted by the Royal Agricultural University.

The first stop was an ecological conservation site in Miserden, where the Royal Agricultural University is carrying out studies into ways to increase biodiversity. In true countryside fashion, the livestock were friendly and the mud was plenty. As we trekked through the site, Dr Ian Grange spoke to the students about the different ecosystems around us and the techniques they were using to increase the number of native species in the area. From encouraging nesting sites to controlling water flow in the river, students saw first-hand the importance of maintaining the flora and fauna levels in our countryside.

     The students were then taken to the university campus, where they were given a tour from three student ambassadors and then a talk about course options by one of the university lecturers. After lunch, students spent a short time in the lecture room where lecturer Kelly Swallow discussed sampling techniques to measure numbers of species. This was followed by putting these techniques into practice in a local forest, gathering field data that would be analysed back in the lecture room.

     The trip provided the students with the opportunity to support their A Level Biology understanding with the chance to experience scientific techniques in a university setting.