L6 Trip to Arboretum

Friday 19th April 2013

The Lower Sixth Biologists had an informative and constructive field day at Harcourt Arboretum on Wednesday 17 April. This was a one day course run by staff from Oxford University and covered some of the ecology aspects of the AS course.  The Arboretum is owned and run by the University of Oxford and is situated 6 miles south of Oxford. Its 130 acres host a range of habitats including woods and a wildflower meadow. It is open to the public for a small charge and is well worth a visit if you have never been. In late spring, the azaleas and rhododendrons are especially impressive, as are carpets of bluebells. It has been described as Oxford’s best kept secret.

On our visit the girls explored a variety of natural and managed environments: meadow, woodland, coppice and plantation. In addition we investigated the concept of diversity and the impact of management strategies on biodiversity. They carried out a range of sampling techniques, collected data, and then processed this to allow comparisons of different areas of the arboretum. The day was specifically geared to the OCR course the girls are following and the hands-on experience will prove invaluable when they sit their examinations later this term.

Our girls were commended by the Oxford University staff on their positive and diligent attitude and worked very well, despite the rather blustery conditions in the meadows!



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