A day of fieldwork in Hatfield forest for Freya as she commenced the pilot study for her A Level Geography Independent Investigation. The aim of the day was to trial the sampling method and data collection techniques for her biodiversity investigation. Her identified focus is the extent to which access of the public affects the biodiversity within a woodland ecosystem.
Firstly selecting a managed bridleway, Freya conducted belt transects at 25m intervals to determine variations in levels of trampling and the distribution and diversity of the flora and fauna. Primary data collection included: measuring plant height, identifying percentage cover of specific species within regularly spaced quadrats and calculating the height of the climax vegetation by applying pythagoras theorem to the measurements taken in the field. Detailed photos, taken by Mr Bailey, assisted with species identification.
The pilot study has enabled Freya to consider refinements to both her sampling method and data collection techniques. Changes to the method will mean that further statistical analysis, using chi squared and Simpson’s Index of diversity, can be undertaken. In addition, Freya identified 2 additional sites for study over the summer. These have been selected to enable comparison at varying levels of management and with increasing distance from the visitor hotspots.