Year 13 Biologists: Having a ‘Snail’ of a Time at Juniper Hall
Saturday 1 October 2022
CARMEL S, YEAR 13
Last week, biologists in the Upper Sixth enjoyed getting back to nature at Juniper Hall, a field centre on the Box Hill Estate in Surrey. We made detailed observations of the flora and fauna of the area, including salad burnets, snails and woodlice.
We had two jam-packed days filled with blue, skies and green, green grass, accompanied by Dr Vincini, Mrs Scott and Lauren, our tutor from Juniper Hall.
We started day one by travelling to Juniper Hall, and coming out of our shells with our first practical – ‘mark, release, recapture’ – to estimate the population size of the pond snail using ‘snail varnish’ to identify the snails we collected. This was followed by a climb up to Lodge Hill on the Box Hill Estate, where we worked in groups to compare biodiversity in coppiced and mature woodland.
After lunch and a quick cake break, we went on to investigate the effect of an environmental variable on the movement of woodlice using a choice chamber. We ended the day making ethical mammal traps and camouflaging them in the woodlands.
Day two started bright and early, as we checked our mammal traps to find that we had caught a vole! We then made the trek up to see the protected view of the Surrey Hills and investigated grassland trampling.
Overall, as biologists this was an incredible opportunity. We had an amazing experience and learned lots of valuable lifelong skills to apply to future scientific experiments.