Donning waders in Dorset

Rebecca Bird L5 writes: In early June L5 biologists spent a picturesque day at the River Piddle in Dorset. We enjoyed donning waders to venture into the river to measure the depth and collect samples from the river bed. Stamping briefly on the riverbed helped to disturb the dirt and force it into the net which we emptied into a tray and observed. We identified species on a chart such as the water scorpion, blood worm and shrimp and recorded results to determine the water cleanliness.

We also went to Leeson House where we studied woodland. Using a quadrat positioned at regular intervals we calculated the percentage of Dog’s Mercury, a plant similar to the stinging nettle. We also calculated the percentage of canopy above, the number of plant species we could identify, the air temperature, the soil texture, Ph., temperature and compaction and the light levels. This was all great practical experience to complement our class work.

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