Friday, 11 April 2014

Whitley goes wild

A level Biology trip to Plas Dol-Y-Moch trip

A group of eight including Miss Denton, we set off for the direction of Plas Dol-Y-Moch in Wales. We shared the coach with Holy Family and Whitmore Park primary schools from Coventry..

Each day began at 07:00, followed by cereal and toast for breakfast. Our adventure began with a trip to a local beach to explore sand dunes as part of our first section of work on succession. By taking samples of soil and abiotic measurements of temperatures and wind speed, we travelled through times and after 3 hours we saw exactly how plants change over hundreds of years creating different communities. After returning back to the centre we completed some more worksheets as well as an exam question on succession.

On Friday we visited another local beach; this time with rocky cliffs. We used quadrats to discover different types of seaweed and small living creatures that live on rocks. Together we searched a guide to find specific types of seaweed and periwinkles, and that definitely improved our observation skills as well as problem solving. Soon after we did a ‘Mark and Release’ data collection of periwinkles, with the objective to calculate how many periwinkles live in an area. We had 3 minutes to collect as many periwinkles as we could, and then we marked them with tip-ex at the bottom of their shells so that we wouldn’t affect their everyday life. In the evening after dinner we tried our communication skills in a senior nightline, which only two of us managed to complete, due to the excess of small flies eating us alive! As well as that, we set up traps filled with bedding and food for small mammals. The trap would not hurt them, but we wanted to see in which areas small mammals would be caught.

Saturday was our last full day and before going anywhere we checked our traps to see if anything was hiding there. Our result was that we caught three voloes, and we named them Eduardo, Pedro and Pedrina. We let them out into their habitats soon after the catch, and we learned not to put out traps often as mammals can become comfortable in traps. After finishing off our last notes on the ecology course, we decided to spend our afternoon kayaking in the sea. The weather was great throughout the whole course and we really enjoyed being out on the open water.

On Sunday we left for Coventry, we thought about the course and the stay we realised how amazing this trip was. As well as building on our independent skills, we also made friendships, one’s that will be remembered for a while.

By Martyna Adam - 11A

View our photos here