Last December I packed my rucksack and headed off to the Lake District with the sixth form geographers. Our base was a place called Castlehead field studies centre and was a beautiful Georgian house in a lovely setting by the river. We settled into our rooms and then met outside for an orienteering activity. I did quite well but my little legs couldn’t keep up with some of the students as they ran swiftly from point to point. I liked this activity as it helped me to learn my way around the site and also practise my map reading skills. The trip was off to a good geographical start!
The next two days were really busy with planning and carrying out fieldwork. We went to Sandscale Haws to examine the sand dunes. We climbed up and down the sand dunes, some of them were really steep and it was very windy at the top. We looked at the vegetation and how it changed as we moved inland from the beach. I really enjoyed this wild and beautiful environment and I didn’t laugh too much when some of the students fell over in the sand dunes! We stopped for lunch in a sheltered spot and managed to eat our sandwiches and cake without too much sand entering our mouths. It was a brill day and gave us lots of information to process when we returned to the field studies centre.
On the Thursday we put on lots of layers and headed out in the rain. We climbed a hill to see the start of the River Eea and found it to be rocky and rugged near the source of the river. The river was a bit on the cold side but we bravely ventured in (well, most of us did). We took lots of measurements of the width, velocity, depth and so on, so we could compare how the river’s characteristics changed along its course. We travelled to three other locations but we weren’t able to go in the river at Site 4 because the recent rain had made it too deep – so that was a disappointment. However at Site 3, in Cartmel, we had some free time and a lot of us went to the famous sticky toffee pudding café. We deserved a treat after the hard work and bad weather conditions of the morning – it was delicious, if not nutritious! I can’t tell you this tale without mentioning the singing on the minibus – apparently the hits of the 80s are back, who knew? Some of the Yr 13s were very enthusiastically, if not always tunefully, singing along to Lionel Ritchie, Queen and Wham. It was good fun!
On the Friday morning, after finishing some more work, we had time for some problem solving activities. We did really well, given we were blind folded for a fair few of them. The Yr 12s did particularly well in organising themselves and the Yr 13s got there in the end. All in all it was a great trip and we all gave two thumbs up for geography! The Yr 13s said they enjoyed it even more than last year’s trip and that is saying something. The students were great company and didn’t complain even when the weather was against us. Once again we had enjoyed a successful fieldtrip and it reminded us all that geography really is everywhere!