Friday, 3 November 2017


Last week 15 A’ Level Biology students accompanied by 2 members of Townsend staff went on the annual field trip to Kirby Grindalythe, North Yorkshire.  The purpose of the trip was to carry out essential practical work under the expert eye of the Cranedale Centre’s tutors using a multitude of very expensive equipment that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to use.  The area provides unparalled access to the large variety of ecological areas that have to be studied at A level.  These ranged from freshwater streams to forests to the coast.  A typical day started at 8 for breakfast, something Mr Morgan particularly enjoyed!  At 9am students were either in their dedicated classroom studying practical and statistical techniques needed for the day ahead or off in the minibus to the morning’s location.
Some of the week’s activities included investigations into coastal ecosystems and the photosynthetic pigments contained in seaweeds , a study of sustainable lobster fishing at Bridlington harbour, dissection of owl pellets and a visit to a trout farm to look at how it fits in with the environmental requirements of the local water systems.  The main investigation was a comparison of two rivers to see the effects of the invasion of signal crayfish on the freshwater ecosystem.  This was finished off by a competition to find the largest crayfish of the day which was a very close run thing!
The students captured snails at night in the forest, set humane traps to examine small mammals and even went on a bat walk using sensitive detectors to locate and identify different species.
Evening meals were at 6 and again especially enjoyed by Mr Morgan!  Then it was back to the classroom or a night walk to end the day at 8.30.  The small amount of free time the students had was spent playing table tennis or bar football or just relaxing after a hard day.
Mr Morgan would like to thank all the students for their excellent attitude and behaviour during this intense but highly enjoyable week of study.  Our students are always complimented by the staff at Cranedale for their conduct both in lessons and during the small amount of leisure time they had.  Special thanks also goes to Mrs Sawyer who came on the trip despite it being her birthday while we were there.  The centre’s chief cook baked a cake and we all sang happy birthday which went some way to making up for her not being with family at this special time.
Mr Morgan