Our tailor made programmes are aimed at getting the most out of the outdoor experience. Whether we are investigating woodland ecosystems or freshwater environments, we structure the day with a clear aim, and progress through a variety of skills. The diagram below illustrates the progression through the investigation.

Example Timetable

Day 1


Arrive midday
  • Students greeted by FSC staff.
  • Welcome talk and Centre tour.
  • Pre-course meeting with FSC staff and teachers.
  • Allocation of wellies/waterproofs.


Sampling Life on Earth

Our centre grounds have a wide variety of habitats in which we introduce sampling techniques to gain reliable and representative data. Includes a variety of quadrats, Tullgren funnels, sweep nets, pooters, transects and sampling strategies.


Moth and Mammal Trapping

An opportunity to set a light trap and Longworth mammal traps to capture and look at small mammals.

Day 2

Morning and Afternoon

Check mammal traps, moth trap, pitfall traps

Life on Earth: Woodland Investigation Invasive Species

In woodland close to the Centre we will carry out a series of short investigations, applying the sampling techniques we have learnt about. We will compare invertebrate diversity around native and non-native vegetation. Abiotic factors including pH, soil moisture and light will be recorded.
Lichens as Indicators of Air Quality We will collect data for a national survey of air quality looking at lichens on trees around our Centre grounds.


Follow Up Session

Students will recap their methodology and graphically present tabulated data, conclude and evaluate our investigation.

Day 3

Morning and Afternoon

Life on Earth: Rocky Shore or River

On a rocky shore or river site, we will find a wide variety of invertebrates. At the site we will make predictions about their distribution and devise a suitable methodology. After identifying the invertebrates using paired statement keys, we will investigate the feeding structure of the ecosystem, construct pyramids of energy and food chains. Additionally we will investigate the effect of varying abiotic factors on the density of invertebrates. We will observe and discuss the adaptations of the animals and plants we have found.


Follow Up Session

Students will recap their methodology and graphically present tabulated data, conclude and evaluate our investigation.

Day 4

Morning and Afternoon

Population Dynamics

Students will collect and dissect holly leaves, investigating the population dynamics of the holly leaf-miner fly. This will be the basis of a discussion into pesticides and biological control mechanisms.

Mini Investigations

Students will have the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills into practice devising their own investigation around the centre grounds. They will be required to complete all parts of an investigation and present to the class.


Continue independent write up of a previous investigation


Campfire or Night Hike

A chance to reflect on the week’s achievements and perhaps toast a marshmallow.

Day 5


Team Challenges

In small groups, learners will complete a set of challenges which are designed to strengthen their communication, collaboration and cooperation skills. Supporting each other as they balance and stride through our low ropes course they will get a new perspective of the centre grounds.

Depart at midday

Final farewell from FSC staff.

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

Added value of this course

Develop skills

  • Communication | Resilience | Independent thinking | Leadership
  • Numeracy | Literacy | Investigative skills | Observation

Enhance Knowledge

  • Ask questions.
  • Apply knowledge in the real world and make links.
  • Make sense of new places and understand our place and role within this.


  • Have fun | Make friendships | Connect with nature

Why Choose Field Studies Council?

  • Expert tuition by fully trained staff

  • Stunning locations across the UK

  • Outstanding curriculum knowledge

  • Rigorous health and safety procedures

  • Support before and after your visit

  • Free places for visiting staff