Sitting on the Start Bay coast, surrounded by Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve (SLNNR) and with easy access to nearby coastal towns and Dartmoor National Park, FSC Slapton Ley provides unrivalled opportunities for research and study by academics, local community and partners alike. For over 30 years SLNNR and FSC Slapton Ley have hosted an annual research seminar to provide a platform for a wide variety of research interests linked to this area.
The Field Studies Council (FSC) has a proud tradition of providing outstanding learning experiences in a range of magnificent locations for a variety of age groups. The learning that ensues at the FSC’s centres is testament to the knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment of the staff within the organisation. While the pedagogical work of the FSC is without a doubt its centrepiece, the nature of the settings of the various field centres as well as the facilities which they offer enable a large amount of research work to continue alongside the everyday teaching function of the organisation. Research is carried out by visiting University groups with their postgraduate students, by individuals and third party organisations and occasionally by FSC staff. The findings of this research help to further the knowledge base of these locations, feed into larger bodies of work with far reaching significance, and importantly find their way back into the teaching content of field centre programmes.
A conduit for this incredible and rich body of work to find its way into the public realm are the research seminars held at four of the FSC centres: Malham Tarn, Dale Fort, Millport and Slapton Ley. These seminars provide a forum for exchange of ideas, discussion about each other’s work, a development of teaching practices, as well as a way of welcoming the wider community to share in the work that the FSC helps to nurture.
This collection of papers resulted from presentations at the 2016 research seminar held at Slapton Ley.