News Year 8 Geography Trip to Burnham Beeches 12.10.2023

On Thursday Year 8 geographers travelled to Burnham Beeches to study the workings of a deciduous woodland ecosystem.

Unseasonably warm temperatures meant the forest was less autumnal than usual. They compared three different types of woodland: the beech, the oak and the pine, and also looked at different habitats that make Burnham Beeches a Site of Special Scientific interest, such as the mire and the pond. Primary fieldwork undertaken involved using clinometers, tape measures and their iPads to measure the height of trees and calculate the age by measuring the circumference of the trunk. There are several ancient beech and oak trees in Burnham Beeches, some up to 500 years old. Originally bought by the Corporation of London for public enjoyment, 500,000 people visit the forest every year, so students also considered the extent to which conflicting uses can be sustainably managed. Students spent time considering coppicing, which is one form of sustainable management, and composed a haiku inspired by what they could see. One Year 8 student said spending time in forests can be grounding and healing – a lovely expression and an important aspect of fieldwork.