Year 12 Geography Trip to Hull and the Holderness Coast

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Hi ho, hi ho, its off to Hull and the Holderness Coast we go!

Seventeen year 12 Geography students travelled to Hull and the Holderness Coast for a 3 day fieldtrip to carry out research required for their Unit 2 Exam, ‘Geographical Investigations’.

Part 1, ‘Rebranding Places’: Hull is perhaps not a first choice for a holiday destination but the potential for Geographic study is enormous. Having been chosen as the City of Culture for 2017 investment is flooding into the city and regeneration projects are gathering pace. We were lucky to have Kevin Preistley from Hull City Council volunteer his time for the third year in a row to take us on a walking tour of the city giving us valuable place specific information about past, present and future regeneration projects and evaluating their success and longevity. We also visited on of Hull’s ‘flagship’ regeneration schemes, The Deep. This is the world’s only ‘submarium’ and it has been a huge success in drawing tourists to Hull with benefits that have rolled out to other attractions.

Students particularly enjoying seeing the penguins and Diane Porter from The Deep was very helpful in terms of the presentation that she delivered to us on the strategy of The Deep and the players involved in its success.  The students fieldwork in Hull involved perception surveys, photographs, land use mapping to show whether Hull is a ‘clone town or home town’, questionnaires, interviews, footfall surveys and environmental quality surveys. One highlight was finding the world’s smallest window!

Part 2, ‘Crowded Coasts’: The Holderness Coast is a popular choice for studying the impacts of erosion of a soft rock environment. The recent storms have caused real problems for the people that live here and managing the coastline is a constant and some might argue losing battle. Harry Watkins from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust volunteered his time to speak to us at Spurn Point which is the southernmost tip of the Holderness coast and is a coastal spit or great economic and environmental importance. Spurn is home to a lifeboat station and to the harbour master from ABP ports who controls 25% of British sea trade which enters the estuary. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) being unique in the sense that it has its own microclimate and has a range of migration birds that settle albeit temporarily on the land.

Harry talked to the students about the recent breach of the spit and the problems that they were having in trying to ‘let nature take its course’ but also ensuring that the economic activities could continue. He talked passionately about the biodiversity present and the plans for the future of Spurn point, showing us two architects’ drawings of a new centre that is planned for 2014. Students also visited Withernsea and Mappleton and carried out bi-polar surveys on the coastal defences, land use mapping of the town, beach pollution surveys, photographs, questionnaire and interviews.

The students were a credit to the school. We stayed in what we affectionately call a ‘Nunnery’ (a Bed and Breakfast run by the Sisters of Mercy) which the students definitely found to be a new and unusual experience. Some students took part in a ‘peace walk’ before breakfast and we all enjoyed Taboo and Charades in the evening after writing up our notes from the day.

Students are happy that they have detailed case studies for their exams and staff are looking forward to taking next year’s AS students as Hull and the Holderness Coast are places that are in a state of constant and exciting change.

Mrs M Chapman

Head of Geography


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