Ecology can be Fun

Hedingham School A level biology students recently visited Daws Hall Field Study Centre in Lamarsh near Sudbury, to learn more about ecology and the environment. They were blessed with glorious autumn weather and 18 year old student Paris Smale from Castle Hedingham, explains what they got up to during the day!
On the 30th of September our A2 biology class were lucky enough to spend an educational day at Daws Hall, in order to learn more about ecological studies and practise data handling and sampling, which is vital for our course. We arrived at 9am and were pleasantly surprised by the dry sunny weather, as we spent the majority of the day out on the reserve carrying out practical tasks with plants and animals. The day was led by Simon Perry, a highly experienced ecologist who managed to squeeze two days’ worth of activities into one, whilst maintaining a very high standard of teaching.
During our visit we took part in a diverse set of tasks, from using quadrats to estimate plant populations to sampling small mammal populations from traps; a task which was particularly enjoyed by many as we were actually allowed to release the mice back into the wild. This was quite a task as they were particularly lively and unwilling to co-operate! Another of the activities involved entering the brook and river to capture and compare aquatic creatures; for this task we wore waders due to the waist-high water, much to the excitement of a few members of the group who spent most of the day shouting “Where are my waders, I want to waterwade!”.
Overall it was an invaluable experience, for both teachers and us students, which we are very grateful for.