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Organisms in their environment field course

Location: North York Moors National Park, England

Course leader: Dr Peter Mayhew

Find out more about this module


The field course takes place in Dalby Forest, on the southern edge of the North York Moors National Park. This an important biodiversity hotspot of Northern England, noted for its rare habitats such as upland heathland, calcareous fens, and limestone grassland, as well as important birds, plants and invertebrates such as butterflies. Group activites throughout the trip will include a visit to nearby Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve, home to internationally important seabird colonies; bat watching at the old Saxon church in the village of Ellerburn; a tour of Dalby forest (including nightjar and woodcock watching) by one of the forestry managers to learn about the management of this landscape; moth trapping and identification; and investigating the diversity of the rare limestone flora.

Most of your time in the field will be spent working on your research projects in small groups. Research will take place in and around Ellerburn Bank Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve.


You'll be staying in "Camping Pods" in the nearby Pexton Moor Farm campsite.

Very enjoyable and interesting outings on subjects that we would normally not learn much about.

Examples of research projects

  • Monitoring changes in the grassland flora from year to year
  • Investigating the habitat requirements of rare plants
  • The effect of forest tracks on biodiversity
  • Understanding how bird/mammal/invertebrate diversity are associated and how each varies across habitats