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Walking on the Spanish side – field trip to Tenerife

Posted: July 02 2019

While June for most of the students at uni was the start of their summer holiday, us second year Environmental Sciences students decided to have one more adventure to end the year with a bang.

These field trips offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience of all they have learnt in the year. Environmental Sciences offers a trip abroad to the wonderful island of Tenerife and I can say it is not to be missed. This year we had covered multiple subject areas, such as how tourism affects ecosystems, the effect that land use can have on the local environment and how the banana business has helped the island. Each day in Tenerife offered a unique perspective into these areas, while causing us to do things we wouldn’t usually do.

My top three highlights were:

Seeing dolphins and whales around the coast

We sailed around the island for about two hours and were able to see a group of pilot-finned whales, as well as a colony of atlantic-spotted dolphins. This was an amazing experience as both species came quite close to the boat and we were able to get loads of great photos with them. Even afterwards, we got a bit of an R&R session where we were able to swim in a cove on the island.

Brunel Environmental Sciences students on whale-watching in Tenerife
Brunel Environmental Sciences students on whale-watching in Tenerife
Brunel Environmental Sciences students on whale-watching in Tenerife

Exploring Mount Teide

The natives of the island (guanches) believed that the king of evil, the devil, lived in the volcano and when you get there it’s not hard to see why. Saying it was hot is an understatement!

View of Mount Teide

Visiting the banana plantation

It’s not every day that you get to see bananas in their natural environment (we were even lucky enough to try one of the fresh bananas). It’s even more special when you get to see a massive banana plantation, with hundreds of banana trees, which is also a sustainable plantation and learn how hard the banana business is on the environment. (Did you know that you need 28 litres of water to grow one banana?????)

Banana plantation farm
Banana plantation farm

Truly, this trip was a once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend that if you do this course or another course which offers a field trip, that you grab the opportunity with both hands.

To see more images from the trip, or to learn more about what we did, check either @brunel_envbsc or @bruneluni and keep an eye out for our course video with more footage.