An investigation of how physical and human processes influence vegetation in one or two woodland areas, including the relationship with climate, soil and human activity. Past management and current practices are discussed. Fieldwork consists of random sampling measuring biotic and abiotic factors including plant frequency, canopy cover and microclimate.

Example Timetable

The course normally runs 10am – 3pm.  There will be an allocated lunch slot, the timing will depend on the final course programme.

Pre Visit / Prior Learning

  • An understanding of key terminology associated with ecosystems.
  • Awareness of the location to be studied.


  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Setting and Sharing Objectives
  • Discuss the route for enquiry
  • Introduction to woodland ecosystems, including the abiotic and biotic factors present.

Morning / Afternoon

  • Planning the fieldwork
    • In groups, plan the investigation including making predictions, methodology and equipment
  • Fieldwork, depending on Centre, this may be done at two sites, or along a transect.
    • Make observations of the site to be studied.
    • Carry out measurements of relevant biotic factors including vegetation and abiotic factors including canopy cover, temperature, soil type, light levels and pH
    • Carry out qualitative fieldwork methods e.g. field sketch.
  • Analysis and evaluation
    • a verbal data review to interpret observations, draw conclusions, with reference to predictions.


How this course fulfills the specification

Key Stage 3 Geography 

  • Human and physical geography
    • understand, through the use of detailed place-based exemplars at a variety of scales, the key processes in physical geography relating to: weathering and soils
    • understand how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate
  • Geographical Skills and fieldwork
    • use fieldwork in contrasting locations to collect, analyse and draw conclusions.

Added value of this course

  • Develop personal skills
  • Have fun
  • Be inspired by a passion for the subject
  • Build friendships

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