Year 8 geographers spent the day at Burnham Beeches to study the workings of a deciduous woodland ecosystem.
The girls walked through the forest comparing the beech woodland with the oak and the pine. This forest has a long history; it was listed in the Domesday book, and was a royal hunting grounds for a number of years. More recently, walks through the woodland provided tranquility and inspiration to composer Felix Mendelssohn and, more recently still, the forest was used as a filming location for the Harry Potter series. Year 8 geographers have been visiting Burnham Beeches for a number of years now, and it is always a highlight for the Geography department – particularly so this year considering the disruption to our usual trip programme as a result of the pandemic.
Using clinometers, tape measures and their iPads, students measured the height of trees and calculated the age by measuring the circumference of the trunk. With more fieldwork equipment this year – including pH, soil moisture probes and light intensity meters – girls were able to split into smaller teams and gather a wider range of data than usual. They also wrote a haiku about a coppiced area of woodland and drew field sketches of the upper pond, complete with moorhens and ducks.