A Level Biology Field Trip

At the end of the Easter holidays, A Level biology students ventured to Nettlecombe Court in Somerset for the annual ecology field trip. Seeing and using different sampling techniques firsthand was an invaluable experience and will help us enormously with both our theory and practical skills.

Trip highlights included a day spent on the beautiful and rugged moors of Exmoor National Park, where we sampled invertebrates at different sites along the river, and even spotted wild horses - something many of us had never seen before. We learnt many key skills, such as how to identify different species and how to analyse and explain the results that we obtained.

Exploring the different species of sea snails and habitats along a rocky shore was also a very memorable and exciting day. We got to see a habitat which was unfamiliar to many people, and we learnt a lot about the various adaptations of creatures that live there. I didn’t know that sea snails were so diverse and interesting - we even found some which were 13 years old!

On the final full day, we each completed individual investigations which contribute towards our A Level practical assessment. The options seemed endless, with girls looking at the effect of light on stinging nettles, the abundance of invertebrates in the pond and the different growth of algae on trees.

Overall, the trip was very insightful; it not only gave us the confidence to run our own experiments but also brought the subject of ecology to life by allowing us to explore many different habitats not available to us at school.

Taisie Lewis, Lower Sixth