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Shrewsbury, Shropshire, United Kingdom
FSC Preston Montford has been an outdoor classroom since 1957 and is a Field Studies Council centre. We deliver curriculum related outdoor education by the experts; from pre-school to Masters level; for infants, school students, undergraduates and enquiring adults with an interest in the natural world. Courses for schools and individuals. A venue for others to use; with bed space for 130, catering facilities and 7 fully equipped teaching and meeting spaces.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ground Works around Preston Montford

Working with staff and volunteers we have made a number of improvements around the main campus this spring some have been aimed at human visitors
Car park edge cleared and wood chip strip laid down

Some at providing space to grow things
Incredible Edible growing beds

Finally an un-used corner has been set up to provide better a habitat for moss and newts working in consultation with Martin Godfrey from the British Bryological Society  and John Wilkinson from Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Stage 1- Wood chip on plastic sheet with boulders

Stage 2 addition of further rock and logs

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mining Bees at Preston Montford

On April 23rd 2013 a bare patch of earth attracted plenty of interest from some bees in the warm spring sunshine.
The earth was about to be tidied up when the bees were observed flying at an altitude of 3-10 cm over the dry soil. On closer inspection these were identified by Pete Boardman the FSC Invertebrate Challenge  and Bio-Fellowship Project Officer as solitary bees from the genus Andrena.
The site looked ready for more gravel but on closer inspection........

it was covered with small holes with yellow stuff in...

and small bees flying around- Andrena haemorrhoa - Lesser Mining Bees

They are solitary in that each nest is the work of a single female and, although they may live quite close together in groupings called agglomerations, they do not exhibit any social behaviour with other bees.  90% of all British Bee species are of the solitary sort.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mammal tracks and signs

If you go down in the woods today
Spring is definitely here at last and the Preston Montford river bank has been  very busy.
Here are some images of recent finds....
Otter Spraint

A fox dropping that smelt of fish-clever fox



Mink Squirrel and hedgehog

Friday, April 12, 2013

Summer events at Preston Montford

Events this summer at Preston Montford Field Centre - Family Wildlife Day on Saturday 27th July and a Bioblitz on Sunday 25th August.

See our website for more information: www.field-studies-council.org/centres/prestonmontford/events

Come along and see us!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Work with PGCE Science Students at University of Worcester

Pond dipping seems to engage everyone at any age
This year staff from FSC Preston Montford have been working with Sue Howarth PGCE Science Lecturer at the University of Worcester. Staff from the Centre have visited the campus twice working with students on the Science PGCE course.

In November Head of Centre Adrian Pickles gave a presentation on the work of the FSC and the role of outdoor learning in the Curriculum, as well as promoting the use of FSC publications for identification.

In March 2013 a team of three staff- Senior Tutor Jenni Duffell, Trainee Tutor Eleanor Gifford and Adrian Pickles visited the campus to lead a afternoon session on“Instant Ecology Anywhere”. During the afternoon the team modeled good practice using the classic FSC approach starting with a walk and making observations. The observational walk lead on to outdoor practical work which enabled students to reflect on their own understanding and explore issues around teaching Ecology. This was followed up indoors with a reflective plenary developing models for teaching Ecology  that can be used in any school setting.