Biology enrichment students complete first visit to Anglesey Abbey

Thanks to Dr Karen Stephens a team of twenty-four Year 12 students have been able to participate in the Snowdrop DNA project. 

This Royal Society partnership grant-funded project involves researching and learning techniques to study genetics and phylogeny at an incredibly high standard, concluding with the creation of a family tree of snowdrop species from Anglesey Abbey.

Anglesey Abbey Header
Anglesey Abbey

Discovering Snowdrop DNA

On the 2nd of October, the team travelled for the first time to the site that inspired the project, Anglesey Abbey, a beautiful 12th-century priory turned country home in the village of Lode, now managed by the National Trust. The magnificent gardens will be the site of the snowdrops, which we will pick and study early next year. We were welcomed by two of the many horticulturalists at the site, David and Amy, who took us for a tour around the gardens.

Firstly, students visited the arboretum, where they learned sine amazing facts about the horse chestnuts, sycamores and oaks planted in the gardens from looking at the leaves, fruits and bark. David also gave the students an insight into the daily tasks and life of a senior horticulturalist, taking care of 98 acres of parkland, forest and formal gardens.

Next, and most excitingly, there was a sneak preview of the snowdrop plants we will investigate in the upcoming term, currently yet to flower, but they gave the group an amazing early insight into the plants at the core of the project.

The group is so excited to visit the site again and pick the snowdrops next year and we wish them the best of luck with their project.

David and Amy were inspiring guides and incredibly knowledgeable about the plant collection.

Dr Karen Stephens

I found the trip very interesting and inspiring. The gardeners at Anglesey Abbey were compelling and very passionate about their job in horticulture.

Lily Bain