Geography Field Trips
St Benedict’s geographers have been delighted to see the return of field trips this term. Year 9 travelled to Box Hill to look at ecosystems and Year 8 went to Chiswick to explore all aspects of the River Thames.
Geography Field Trip to Box Hill
Alice M (Year 9) reports:
An investigation into the impact of people on Box Hill - specifically the ecosystems.
We carried out a number of fieldwork investigations on Box Hill, Surrey, working on a belt transact at Burford Spur. Four bipolar surveys were completed at different viewpoints: Burford Spur, Box Hill viewpoint, Juniper Folly and River Mole, along with two field sketches. We collected both qualitative and quantitative data and used different sampling strategies.
Why Box Hill?
Box Hill is an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
We chose to carry out our research at Box Hill because it has a wide range of life and contains many unique species of bats, butterflies and orchids, as well as box trees. We were specifically investigating the ecosystems and we went to four places to see how each one was affected in its own way. It is very popular place which makes it an ideal place to measure human impact. It is a National Trust site visited by many people, such as dog walkers, hikers and families.
At Box Hill, we used many different methods to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. For example, we used bipolar surveys/scales, a transect line, and field sketches. We used systematic, random and stratified sampling.
At our transect line, we investigated the percentage of bare ground, number of species, percentage of key species and the tallest plants. Our findings showed that humans have impacted Box Hill by eroding the ground and affecting the number of species in certain areas. Box Hill needs careful management to ensure that some areas remain unaffected by human activity.
We found out that humans have had some form of impact on Box Hill, however, it is a well- preserved environment.
The Chiswick trip, run by the Thames Explorer Trust, looked at all aspects of the River Thames. Year 8 students looked at the course of the Thames from its source in Gloucestershire to the estuary in the North Sea, including its tributaries, confluences, watershed and drainage basin. We visited the foreshore at low tide to identify key species, river features and flood risk management. We also measured the river flow, temperature, sediment, pollution and pH to gain more accurate data on the condition of our Old Father Thames.