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Spotlight on Biology

U6th Biology field trip - pupils enjoying Slapton Ley
Slapton Ley
Slapton Ley

Each month we will be putting the SPOTLIGHT on one particular subject - hopefully it will bring back fond memories for you all!


Slapton Ley - written by the U6th Biology mentor

Recently, biologists in the Upper Sixth attended a field trip to Slapton Ley Field Centre, a beautiful location used for running a variety of required practicals. We arrived to the centre on the first day after a long train journey, powered by Percy Pigs and watching Squid Game on Netflix.

Upon arrival, we were given our room assignments and then went on a walk up to a viewpoint, where we discussed ecology definitions and looked out at the picturesque countryside which lay in front of us.

The first day consisted of a trip to the seaside, where we conducted research into organisms found on beside the sea and we entered our data onto our iPads to be discussed later. It was hard work – especially the climb back up the near vertical hill! – but well worth it to enjoy a day of exploring rock pools and learning about the organisms living in the microhabitats surrounding us.

After walking back up the hill, we did have to do a Student’s T-test (which for those of you who don’t know is a torturous statistical test, which seems to take forever to do!) We then headed back to the field centre on the lovely Tally-Ho bus, which became a welcome sight to see at the end of a long day.

The second day was my favourite practical day. It was a warm and sunny day, which seems hard to imagine given our current weather, and we headed down to the Ley to do a choice chambers experiment. In the sunshine, it was a lovely activity to do, and one which came with a relatively easy statistical test!

We then headed back to the beach to do our succession practical, which involved taking soil pH measurements and wind speed on a variety of devices. It was a slightly difficult practical to do, as the brambles were very high and proved to make a trying obstacle, but we managed and returned for our last sleep at Slapton!

However, I think all the students would agree that the best day by far was the final day, wherein we visited the beautiful town of Totnes. My friends and I immediately fell in love with the unique town, with its multitude of vintage stores.

For lunch, a £3.50 (yes, that cheap) pizza was on offer from one of the homemade food stalls, and I would dare anyone to try the Totnes brownies and not declare them to be the most delicious brownies ever made! Most people came away from Totnes with a variety of goodies, either from the amazing vintage stores, the crystal shops, or the multitude of large bookshops there.

Full of lunch, we headed to the train station to board our train. Unfortunately, our train was delayed by two hours – but this didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, and we passed the time playing card games or visiting the small nearby cafeĢ, to, if you’re like me, buy a 2L bottle of water to share around with your friends, who’d forgotten to fill their bottles!

Finally, we arrived home after a long journey, in which we met some interesting characters on the train and found our way back to the familiarity of the Guildford Mainline. All in all, it was an exhausting but unforgettable trip; these are always the best.


What was your favourite Tormead Trip?

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