Blooming Biodiversity

Project

Survey an area of vegetation in your locality for biodiversity. Students can investgate ways of increasing biodiversity using methods such as seed bombs to increase plant life.

  • Estimated time: 240 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: Some experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science

Learning objectives

  • Understand the interdependence of organisms in a local ecosystem, including food webs and insect pollinated crops.
  • Use this project to carry out a field investigation into the distribution and abundence of organisms in an ecosystem.

Essential background information

Preparation

Use this project as part of the wider topic on relationships in an ecosystem for Science KS3 or Scottish third level for biodiversity and interdependence.

For biodiversity studies in KS4 Science or Scottish fourth level biodiversity and interdependence studies extend this learning to include determining the population in a given area.


Equipment required

  • An area of land which can be accessed and studied over a period of time
  • Sampling equipment
  • Identification books or keys
  • Access to the internet for further research
  • Material for making seed bombs (including suitable plant seed species)
  1. Choose a suitable site for the project, ideally in your school grounds as you will need to make repeat visits over a long period of time. If an off-school site is chosen ensure you have the landowners permission to carry out the project.

  2. Establish and record a baseline survey of existing plant and insect species. Use transects and or quadrats alongside collection methods such as nets, traps, beating sheets or simple observation (for larger species). Pooters may be used to catch and identify fast moving insects. Use identitfication books and field study guides to identify species. Think of innovative ways to display the findings to others.

  3. Research and discuss methods for increasing biodiversity such as introducing a wider variety of habitats and building overwintering sites for insects. Investigate which additional plants would thrive in your site. Cross reference your list with RHS Perfect for Pollinators plant list to come up with a selection of plants that will attract wildlife to your site.

  4. Students should discuss their findings and decide upon an action plan to increase biodiversity on their site. This may include introducing more wildlife friendly plants by creating seed bombs. Students should research these online. Remember they should choose a style suitable for the habitat and site. 

  5. Students should mark out the area in which they intend to increase the biodiversity. This will make the monitoring of benefits easier later on.

  6. Carry out the extra planting or seed bombing activity, try to ensure it is before rain so the seeds will have an initial 'water in'.

  7. To extend this project further students should return to the site at 1,3,6 and 12 months later to survey the area again and compare these results with the original baseline survey. 

Hints & tips

Compare similar areas or habitat in the local area. Those rich in biodiversity can inform this project and provide clues as to which plants will grow well and could be used to encourage incresed biodiversity elsewhere.

We've won awards!

Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
Winner of the ERA 2017 awards
Winner of the Third Sector 2017 awards