This course is for young people aged 16 and 17 years old who are interested in learning more about ecology and biology.
This Ecology Camp residential is ideal for budding ecologists looking to explore new environments, refine identification skills and develop knowledge.

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Margam Discovery Centre is set in 850 acres of parkland, surrounded by a rich diversity of habitats, including ancient woodlands, freshwater streams and ponds, marshland and grasslands. The local area has an unrivalled range of natural environments to investigate including Crymlyn Burrows SSSI dune system, Crymlyn Bog National Nature Reserve, and the Gower peninsula all a short drive away.

This course is aimed at young people aged 16 and 17 years old, with an interest in ecology and biology. No prior experience is required.

Our residentials also give you the chance to develop a range of transferable skills. These types of skills help across many areas of life and are particularly good for including in job or education applications.

Here are some of the transferable skills that are likely to be covered in this residential:

  • Communicating with others
  • Working as a team
  • Managing your time
  • Taking the lead
  • Resilience
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making

If you are Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award participant, this course is also an ideal way to complete the Residential section of the award

We want to ensure participants get to share in their experience with those of a similar age. Please consider what age the attendee will be on the course date and check they fit into the age category when booking. 

If the attendee is under 18, the booking must be made by a parent/guardian. When you book, it is essential that you enter the age and attendees name in the Order Notes at the checkout.

See our Residential FAQs page if you’d like to know the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

If these course dates do not suit you, we run similar courses at many of our other centres.

Explore our range of opportunities for young people. Whether you’re looking to complete your gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, or want to expand your knowledge, our experiences offer something for everyone.

  • Young people looking in to microscopes
  • Two young people looking in to an insect net
  • A Young Darwin Scholar looking at a mothin a tube

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

Day 1

Arrival 12:00pm. Enjoy a tour of the centre and there will be time to eat lunch and settle into rooms.
Afternoon: Exploring the nature of Margam Park. A 5km walk to Margam castle, Orangery and up to the Pulpit for a stunning view out to the coast. Using ID guides, we will look for signs of the park’s 3 species of deer, and other seasonal species.
Evening: Using apps you will identify and record the species.

Day 2

Morning/afternoon: Coastal Rocky Shore Exploration.
Spend a day at Bracelet Bay on the Gower. Rock pooling and identifying all the different rocky shore species. There will also be a chance to carry out a mini investigation on the effects of zonation on the abundance of different species.
Macroalgae Chromatography and Microscope analysis. Looking at the accessory pigments different seaweeds need to thrive.
Evening: Camera trap and mammal tunnel setting. Bat Walk.

Day 3

Morning/afternoon: Crymlyn Bog/ Burrows
A tour of two local SSSIs! Crymlyn bog is a lowland fen and home to the elusive fen raft spider as well as a number of different rare species. We will explore the habitats of the sphagnum mosses and investigate the effects of NRWs land management.
Crymlyn Burrows is a sand dune system managed by the University of Swansea. We will take a tour through the dunes with the Warden, looking out for orchids and reptiles. Practice your botany skills completing and investigation along a transect looking at the change in plant communities and succession.
Evening: Set Small Mammal Traps

Day 4

Morning/afternoon: Freshwater Investigations.
Visiting different freshwater habitats (stream and pond) within Margam Park, we will examine the different micro habitats present. Organisms will be identified using dichotomous keys and abundance recorded, while identifying adaptations of different freshwater invertebrates. Learning how to effectively kick sample, how we can use invertebrates as bio indicators of pollution and how to measure several abiotic factors.
Evening:  Set Skinners Moth Trap and pitfall traps then campfire.

Day 5

Morning: Moth identification and biological drawings
We will open our moth trap and identify the species caught. We will then practice proper biological drawing skills in the classroom. We will then walk out into the local woodlands and find some plants to identify and sketch in the field.

Depart 3pm

Please note: to ensure safe and quality learning experiences for students, the timetable may alter depending on weather conditions and local factors at centres.

Before You Attend

What to bring

  • Walking boots
  • Wellies (Available to borrow from the centre)
  • Trainers with good tread
  • Shoes for around the centre (old trainers, crocs, sliders)
  • Walking/ sport socks – incl. a spare pair for each day
  • A warm coat
  • Waterproof coat and trousers (Available to borrow from the centre)
  • Sun cream and sun hat
  • 2 x Long sleeved fleeces or sweaters
  • 4 x T shirts
  • Several pairs of activity trousers/shorts (no jeans for activities)
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas or night clothes
  • Clothes for the evening/free-time
  • Wash kit – no aerosols please as they can set off smoke detectors
  • 2 good sized towels
  • Water bottle(s) (Minimum 1 litre)
  • Lunch box
  • Rucksack (to carry things throughout the day)
  • Pencil case and notepad
  • Mobile phone and charger

Other useful items

  • Any personal medicines required
  • Books/magazines/ evening entertainment
  • Lip salve, insect repellent
  • Torch or head-torch plus spare batteries
  • Pocket money for snacks

This residential is only open to young people who will be aged 16 or 17 years old at the time of attending.   

We want to ensure participants get to share in their experience with those of a similar age. Please consider what age the attendee will be on the course date and check they fit into the age category when booking.

If the attendee is under 18, the booking must be made by a parent/guardian. When you book, it is essential that you enter the age and attendees name in the Order Notes at the checkout.

Opportunities to attend this course

  • Mon 19, August 2024 12:00 - Fri 23, August 2024 15:00

    This residential is only open to young people who will be aged 16 or 17 years old at the time of attending.   

    Price
    £389.00
    Tutor
    Centre Staff
    Pay a deposit of £100.00 per item