Recently we have been delighted to welcome pupils and staff from Gresham’s School for two field study trips on the Holkham Estate. Twenty-eight A Level Biology pupils enjoyed a full day of field study, recording data on both the National Nature Reserve and the estate farmland. Our Education Coordinator, Will, led them on their field work around the sand dunes system and the grazing marshes. Here they observed succession of habitats and the conservation focussed management of the marshes, as well as the diversity of species and the importance of species-specific breeding sites. After a spot of lunch by the estate lake the keen biologists were shown areas of farmland that have been designated for Higher Level Stewardship, with borders and whole meadows of wildflowers being grown to attract pollinators. Transects of the different areas were taken and data recorded using the Simpsons Diversity Index. Later in the afternoon buffer zones and hedgerows were studied, demonstrating the importance that is given to conservation minded approach to farming here at Holkham.
43 GCSE geographers also visited us, this time to our National Nature Reserve and were given a talk on sand dunes management and conservation. The psammosere process of succession was investigated and huge amounts of data relating to species diversity, soil pH, inclination (slopes) and wind strength were recorded across the area of embryonic, yellow and grey dunes. It was great to see the pupils at work in what is such a fantastic environment for studying the geography of Norfolk.
We hope to welcome educational visits from many more secondary schools in the future. For more information on our secondary school and higher education programmes please contact us.