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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, July 24, 2012

Tree Trail for adults

A more advanced Tree Trail is now available at FSC Preston Montford. Building on the success of the Junior Tree trail it leads users around the centre estate  providing information about significant trees in the grounds.
The adult tree trail can be obtained from the Education team office at the Centre and is supported by a display about woodlands in the Darwin building 

Adrian Pickles

Saturday, July 21, 2012

OU Soils and Vegetation course

Open University students have been working on new field course "SXE288-Vegetation and Soils in the Field"
First evening on Preston Rough examining a soil core
After an evening at Preston Montford of soils, vegetation and GPS  students developed their skills of plant identification and soil description high on the Long Mynd above Church Stretton. This was followed up with laboratory work on soils chemistry and physics and matching the plant communities to the National Vegetation Classification system.
Looking North across Carding Mill valley to Caer Caradoc and the Wrekin
Identifying and estimating abundance of plants

Soil profile from Long Mynd grassland-almost a podsol

The final couple of days involved students developing hypotheses and collecting data to study relationships between plants and soil at Stapeley Hill.

South towards the phacolith of Dolerite that forms Corndon Hill

Bob's bottles and bags-an organised set of samples ready for analysis
After final sessions plotting sites using a GIS system, analysing soils, dealing with data and discussing results students went home to write a report as part of the assessment process for the whole course.

Discussing results

A good time was had by all...Good luck with writing up..any queries please get in touch
More photos available at URL; bit.ly/OUfiles

Adrian Pickles

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lichen list for Preston Mntford

Lichens with FSC and British Lichen Society at Preston Montford

Mark Powell and his group identified 67 species of lichen on the FSC Preston Montford site on a single day course on June 23rd. 
Mark's report and list of species will appear on the FSC Preston Montford Website soon; http://www.field-studies-council.org/centres/prestonmontford/reports.aspx
To go with the article here are a couple of pictures of lichen on the bridge handrail and some bright yellow stuff on some old branches.

The footbridge with handrails

The large grey foliose species is Parmelia sulcata
The smaller, ciliate grey lichens are a mixture of Physcia adscendens and Physcia tenella which often grow together. 

There are some large brown foliose lichens which are one of the "camouflage lichens", in this case Melanelixia subaurifera.

A specimen of it spent several days hanging outside the International Space Station exposed to the high vacuum and other hostilities of space and resumed growth once safely back on Earth. N.B.This is a different specimen

Now I have a question...; Do lichens exist as species, if not what units are they organised into?
Answers in comment section of blog please. NO prizes but I will know more.

Adrian Pickles with acknowledgments to Mark Powell