Published on: Thursday, June 29, 2023
In an exciting four-day excursion, 19 A level biology students and three staff members embarked on a biology trip to the picturesque Isles of Scilly. Blessed with hot and sunny weather throughout their stay, the students had an enriching experience exploring the unique ecosystem of this stunning archipelago.
The group set up camp at the Garrison Campsite, located on St Marys, which provided an ideal base for their scientific endeavours. One of the key activities involved the examination of species distribution on a rocky shore using line and belt transects. Armed with ID sheets and quadrats, the students meticulously recorded the presence and abundance of different organisms along the transect line. This exercise offered valuable insights into the adaptation strategies of marine organisms within their specific habitats.
Additionally, the budding biologists focused on studying sand dune succession, a process that involves the gradual colonization and transformation of sandy coastal areas by various plant species. Through careful observation and data analysis, the students gained a deeper understanding of the processes at play in this dynamic environment, using them to plan future practical work.
Apart from their land-based investigations, the group also embarked on an unforgettable boat trip to witness the abundant diversity of marine life surrounding the Isles of Scilly. During the excursion, the students were treated to breath-taking sights of seals, puffins, razorbills and a harbour porpoise in their natural habitats. On their return ferry journey, the group was thrilled to encounter pods of dolphins gracefully swimming alongside the boat, and even a majestic fin whale made an appearance.
Overall, the trip was an exceptional learning experience for the students. They not only applied their theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios but also witnessed the beauty and complexity of nature firsthand. The trip served as a reminder of the importance of fieldwork and hands-on exploration in nurturing a deeper appreciation for the natural world and its intricate ecosystems.