Becoming A Master – Here There Be Dragons

Week 4

4 weeks down already! I’ve learnt so much and seen so much it’s unreal and all in just a month! This week again was insanely busy on another field course, this time I was up in Snowdonia national park in Wales. I’ve only been to Wales twice before once for a concert in Cardiff, the other time was on a different field course in Pembrokeshire.

The field course was all about the mosaic of different land uses and the people that manage the land inside the national park. I took a lot of pictures on this trip so rather than scatter them through the text they are all at the bottom. The first full day of the trip was centered around the forests of the park. Originally timber production was quite a big area within the park but as the price and demand for timber has decreased forest tourism has become key. Although we did get to see a harvester at work which was amazing!

Our second day was all about agriculture on the Welsh Uplands, which I can say is not easy. It’s also put a huge demand on the landscape due to the number of sheep overgrazing the land. Being from a farming background I can sympathize with both sides but the overgrazing has got to such a state where certain plant species just cant grow. Particularly species like alpine plants that should be all over the mountains.

The third day we took a hike half way up Snowdon to look at the footpath management there. Half a million tourists each year go up Snowdon and this puts a big demand on the footpaths. So they are well maintained which in turn means that there isnt scars of people making their own way up the mountain. I’ll be honest that hike was hard! I haven’t done something like that in a while but the view was incredible.

The last full day we had we went out with an ecologist who used to be the senior ecologist for the whole of Snowdonia National Park. He showed us an area where the sheep had been fenced out. The growth of heather was astounding compared to the rest of the park.

Then before I knew it I was back in London and my fieldcourses for this term are officially over, now its time to get into my list of coursework to complete! Til next time I hope you enjoy my photos from my trip!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

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