Over a couple of days this week Year 12 Biology students visited the Field Studies Council Amersham Field Centre in Mop End to complete stages of their assessed practical. The fun-filled days opened with an informative talk on ecology and sampling techniques, we were then able to try these methods. We started by sweeping a pond with a net, hoping to sample some wildlife. Some of the creatures were only 2mm long! Two different ponds were tested, to compare features of a meadow pond with a woodland pond. Both biotic and abiotic factors were measured and our results were used to find the Simpson’s Diversity Index of each pond.

The afternoon began with another talk, this one about systematic sampling, as preparation for the next stage of the day. This time we were counting and measuring plants! Readings such as soil depth and leaf size were recorded and their measure of correlation was calculated to see if there was a significant relationship between two variables.