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SRUC Elmwood countryside management student diary : Day 1

Join Heather, our Countryside Management Student and Elmwood Student Ambassador, as she describes the study trips and activities that she’s enjoyed on her course so far.

 

Tuesday November 3rd
Second day on campus this morning and I’ve got to say, I was pretty excited to get going. When I arrived on campus, I had an appointment with the school counsellor. Returning to education after a decade long break, I had some concerns about previous anxiety issues resurfacing and so reached out to make sure that I could have regular check ins – luckily, I’ve really enjoyed my college experience so far and have had no issues so far! I highly recommend making use of the services available through the college if you feel you need them.

After my meeting, I headed to the classroom to join the rest of the class and pick up my information sheets for the day. We then headed back to the golf course. I had to stop and snap a picture of these mushrooms growing just outside the golf course boundaries. I quite enjoy taking pictures when I’m out and about and fungi are some of my favourite subjects. These guys were just too good not to snap!

Today, we were split into small groups of three or four and each given a net and a tray to go wading into the ponds and see what wild critters we could find lurking in the depths. It was a fun chance to test out our wellies and do some hands on work. Credit for this shot goes to my lecturer, Victoria Pendry. Not going to lie, I was a little worried I’d fall in! By the time I had something in my net, I didn’t know how I would get back out since I’d used the net as a staff to balance on my way in.

It’s fascinating what you can find in what looks like an empty pond! There was all kinds of critters I’d never even seen or heard of before when we tipped our nets out into the trays. We almost caught a frog/toad but it hopped back into the water before we could think to grab the nets to catch it and have a closer look. In our trays we had everything from water fleas (those little yellow things that are everywhere) to greater water boatmen, beetle larvae, lesser caddis flies, and flat worms.

Study-trip-day-1As we finished up, one of the other groups that was working at the same pond as my group managed to catch a palmate newt, which was pretty cool! Everyone got to have a look at it before we released it back into the pond.

After our morning at the golf course, we spent the afternoon back in the classroom going through everything that we will need to include in our habitat survey report that is due next month. Being able to get out and explore the area and I’m really looking forward to doing it again when we are back on campus at the end of November for our next two days.

www.sruc.ac.uk/environment

www.sruc.ac.uk/conservation

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