Ron Dearing student biologists soak up science on field trip

Budding scientists from Ron Dearing UTC increased their biology knowledge during an action-packed residential field trip in North Yorkshire.

Twenty Year 12 biology students visited the Cranedale Centre in Malton as part of their A-level studies.

The three day visit saw them take part in practical activities including succession, sampling techniques and setting camera traps to monitor and view moths, small mammals and invertebrates.

Ron Dearing UTC student Noa Ayala weighs a crab sample to measure the energy in a trophic level, at Filey Bridge.


Succession is the study of how an ecosystem changes over time and the students visited the nearby Wharram Quarry Nature reserve to take soil samples and measure plant and animal biodiversity, helping them to understand the process.

The students completed freshwater investigations before processing and analysing the data and visited Filey to sample various species. They also measured oxygen levels, temperature and other abiotic factors in two stream areas of Pocklington, East Yorkshire.

From left to right: Students Josh Robson-Moore, Josh Bishoprick, Josh Gray, and Giacomo Davis, kick sample in a stream.


Sarah Buchan, Lead Practitioner for Biology at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The students really enjoyed working together and appreciated the hands-on experience of learning about different eco systems and sampling methods.

“It was invaluable and gave them much more breadth and depth of biology knowledge while learning from the centre’s experts and specialists.

“This was our third annual visit to the Cranedale Centre and we’re already looking forward to next year’s trip.”

The Cranedale Centre is a residential field studies centre which provides tailored academic field courses for British and overseas students.

Year 12 student Josh Bishoprick, 17, said: “The trip increased my interest in fieldwork and brought our learning in the classroom to life. I enjoyed the teamwork aspect of the trip and analysing data.”

Fellow Year 12 student George Martin, 17, who hopes to pursue a scientific career in the future, said: “The freshwater investigations were really interesting. We were able to see, first-hand, the effect and influence people have on our environment and how much it is impacted by what we do.

“It’s great that Ron Dearing UTC gave us this opportunity because it helps me prepare for my future.”