Experiencing global ecosystems first hand!
On Wednesday 4th October, Year 8 geographers visited Kew Gardens in Richmond. At the beginning of Year 8 we study global biomes, with a focus on tropical rainforests, so visiting the Palm House was amazing, as the Palm House at Kew provides a perfect opportunity to experience a taste of the tropical climate as well as see how plants have adapted to these conditions. The humidity surprised the students as it hit us as soon as we walked into the Palm House! Visiting the Palm House helped everyone understand why this biome is so lush and green.
We also visited the Princess of Wales Conservatory which showcases biomes from across the world. We focussed on the hot desert biome with its many varieties of cacti and succulents. In this biome, plants have adapted to the very hot day time temperatures and to the limited rainfall (less than 250mm/year). Students chose a plant to sketch to show the tiny rolled up leaves (needles) which helps to reduce surface area and helps the plants to reduce water loss through transpiration, as well as thick stems to store water.
Another conservatory visited was the Temperate House with plants form temperate climates across the globe. The UK is a temperate climate and we were able to see many of the plants we grow in our own gardens, as well as many other beautiful plants that flourish in our temperate areas of the world.
The highlight of the day was walking on the Tree Top Walkway which gave magical views of the Gardens. The walkway is 18m above the ground and recreates what it would be like to be in the tree canopy. We were able to see green parakeets close up, perching on the branches of some of the trees.