Forres Academy Field Trip Report

Forty nine pupils from the Forres Academy National 5 Biology classes travelled to Findhorn on June 22nd to carry out practical sampling techniques as part of their Unit course work – Life on Earth. This trip was supported by the Findhorn Hinterland Trust whose volunteers helped to run the various activities.

Gathering by the Hub

Pupils carried out 4 different activities that used techniques that they had learned about in school. These included quadrat sampling, measuring abiotic factors and recording the species found in pitfall traps.

Pupils from Forres Academy looking at a pitfall trap during their Biodiversity Survey day at the Findhorn Hinterland

Quadrat sampling was used to estimate overall lichen abundance on an area of dune health as well as looking at the number of Hypogynmia species. At the pitfall stations pupils identified and compared the different species found in the traps in both grassland and woodland. When measuring abiotic factors, a transect was used to investigate how temperature and light intensity changed along a transect from open grassland to birch woodland and how it affected the types of species found.  Pupils were also given the opportunity to look at lichens in more detail after listening to a very informative talk by Heather Paul, a local amateur lichenologist. They were informed about the importance of lichens as indicator species of pollution levels and the scientific importance of the Findhorn dunes habitat for lichen species as well as other nationally important species.

Learning about Lichens outdoors from Heather

A great day was had by all. Particular thanks go to the volunteers from the Hinterland Trust -Jonathan Caddy, George and Heather Paul, Alan Watson Featherstone and Martin Harker as well as the transport department of the Findhorn Foundation and Trees for Life. Thanks also to the school staff – Jacky Barrere, Alana MacDonald and Alastair Walker as well as S6 pupil Issac Swanson. The pupils did themselves proud, working hard through the day to gather data that they will use as a practice for their assignments.

Jonathan Caddy speaking to pupils from Forres Academy on their Biodiversity Survey day at the Findhorn Hinterland

Some quotes from pupils included: –

‘I really enjoyed the time out of school and the experience.   I would love to do this again.’

‘It was a fun day out and I enjoyed learning about the world around us!’

Jacky Barrere

Forres Academy Biology Teacher

Pupils from Forres Academy at the end of their Biodiversity Survey day at the Findhorn Hinterland

In the Marquee


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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB