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Y12 Geography Trip to Preston Montford

Year 12 Geographers headed off to Preston Montford in Shropshire for their field trip.  Here, Sophie Green tells us how it went.

The Geography field trip to Preston Montford in Shropshire, was a brilliant chance for all geographers in Year 12 to gather field work data and gain essential skills - in addition to being a refreshing change from normal sixth form life.

We arrived at Preston Montford at 1pm on the 8th Februrary, ready and raring to go out and collect data from two local contrasting areas - Radbrook Green (a suburban area) and Acton Burnell (a rural village). After comparing their census data, the afternoon entailed gathering our own primary data on the two settlements - from environmental quality surveys to counting bus stops! In the lesson later on that day (under FSC tutor guidance), we compared and analysed the differences between the data for a suburban area and a rural settlement.

Tuesday brought with it a fresh, new challenge; this time we were collecting data from a river in the Carding Mill Valley in snow-storm weather conditions. If it wasn’t for Elle’s speakers, I doubt any of us would have had the motivation to make it down the mountain. We got to see the grooviest measurements of bedload size known to man or woman.

The next day was the day we took an hour and a half coach journey to Cwm Idwal, in Snowdonia, to investigate the different glacial features of the landscape. Tryfan and the surrounding area had stunning natural beauty and it was extremely useful to apply glacial theory to factual features. Using tablets, we took pictures of the stunning scenery and analysed and annotated the features on screen (corries, arêtes, and moraines). There was also a cheeky bit of ‘corrieography’ going on, as we made up our own dance to the formation of a corrie; which in my group’s case was ‘How deep is your corrie?’

Thursday involved us investigating antecedent conditions on different surfaces - such as ploughed fields, urban and natural grassland.  It was very interesting to compare the different surfaces’ lag times, as well as enabling us to develop our data presentation skills using scatter graphs. In the afternoon, we went out in groups into Shrewsbury, using an app called ARCGIS on our tablets to analyse the social, environmental and economic impacts flooding might have on Shrewsbury.  We also had an opportunity to have some free time after our data collection and the wild students of Shottery were unleashed onto the oblivious streets of Shrewsbury…….and straight in to Starbucks!

On Friday, the morning was spent doing preparation for Paper 2 and answering practice questions, which was immensely handy in giving us mark schemes and practice questions to use for revision. In the afternoon, we sadly had to leave - all of us were devastated to leave the welcoming Shropshire hills and friendly Preston Montford staff.

Overall, the field trip was spent in varying fascinating locations -- from snow- capped mountains in Wales, to icy valleys in Shropshire, to the pretty town of Shrewsbury. All the Geographers had a lot of fun (measuring the velocity of a river was definitely the highlight of the trip, as you can imagine) and being outside in the beautiful countryside and fresh air was a lovely change from the Manor!  Many thanks to all the helpful leaders at Preston Montford and Mrs Whan, Mrs Parker and Mr Hall.