To complement our study of the A level course, the Year 12 Biologists ventured to the Field Studies Council centre on Mop End, Amersham. Blessed with fortuitous sunshine for the outdoor activities, we carried out two practical investigations relating to the biodiversity of the area over the course of the day: firstly, a comparison of the species diversity between a woodland pond and a meadow pond, and secondly, an analysis of the effects of underfoot trampling on plant biodiversity. In small groups, we took samples of each pond, recording the abundance of each species we discovered (which naturally became something of a competition). We collected shrimps, sea snails and newts among other pondlife - an Ecologist's dream - and after returning them to their habitat, brought our findings back to the on-site classroom for evaluation. In the afternoon, we employed the use of point quadrats to measure the spread of various plant species, and considered the way in which plant growth differs between trampled and undisturbed meadow.

We are fortunate to have received expert teaching from Ecology specialists at the centre, as well as hands-on experience in the field, and would like to thank the Biology department for organising the trip.