Year 12 Geography Coastal Studies Visit to Yorkshire

Friday, 24 February 2017

On February 22nd the year 12’s embarked on a 5 hour coach journey to the Holderness Coast in Yorkshire. The purpose of the trip was to carry out investigations which studied the coastline and the effects of erosion. At around 3pm we stopped at North Landing Beach to collect some data – the bay was pretty and displayed a lot the coastal features we’d been studying in class.

At around 4:30 we arrived at the Cranedale Centre and were greeted by Katy, who would be one of our guides over the next few days. The centre was really nice with social areas, a tennis court and a canteen that served great food every night (we’re unashamed to say our table successfully demolished a whole chocolate fudge cake complete with chocolate sauce on the second night!). We all settled into our rooms after the tour and then headed to dinner. After this we assembled in the classroom area for a briefing on the following day’s activities. Katy made it very clear that we should be prepared for the cold Yorkshire coast, and it was imperative we wear at least 10 layers of clothing.

It was an early start the next day as we had to leave at 9am sharp. We arrived at Hornsea around an hour later, where we collected sediment and beach profile data on both the managed and unmanaged part of the beach. It turned out we had picked a brilliant time to come to the coast, as Storm Doris was looming closer by the minute, and we braved the elements on the open beach. Lucky for us, we had our stylish water-proof trousers to keep us dry. After Hornsea we headed round the coast to another beach. The waves were very dramatic, coming over the wall next to us at about 10 metres high – Mrs Fry got very excited. Finally we visited a street with a road running through it which ended very abruptly; it had succumbed to the fast rate of erosion on the coast, and part of it had fallen over the cliff edge. Houses and caravans lay only a few metres from the edge – Katy explained that the Holderness Coast eroded at around 2 metres per year, and with only a couple of bad storms people’s homes on this road could be lost to the sea. It was important for us to see the way peoples’ lives are affected by coastal recession and how living on the coast is not always as idyllic as people think.

In the evening we enjoyed another nice meal, and then went through the data we had collected, drawing up graphs and evaluating whether our results supported our hypotheses. We then moved on from our coastal study and began to plan for our day trip to Scarborough, where we would be studying regeneration. After all of this we were all really tired, and some retired to their beds while others enjoyed a nice warm drink and relaxed in the social area.

The weather was much kinder to us the following day and we enjoyed a bit of sunshine in Scarborough. To begin with we were all given locations in which to stand along the High Street, and in pairs did a pedestrian count, as well as making observations about the age, gender, ethnicity and clothing of the people we saw. The purpose of this was to investigate what kind of people on the whole live in or visit Scarborough, and to think about why this may be. After this we headed down to the seafront and discussed how Scarborough had changed by comparing what we saw to old photographs. It was then time to evaluate our lived experience of Scarborough. We went to 6 locations around the town, filling in a chart with characteristics which we marked yes or no depending on whether we thought Scarborough displayed it, writing short creative writing pieces to represent the atmosphere in the location, looking at artwork including an elaborate graffiti mural, and using GIS technology to digitally map our location and how we felt when were there e.g. happy, sad, scared, etc. Doing this allowed us to compare our lived experience to our original ideas about Scarborough and we also got to see a lot of the town - we even managed to fit in a bit of exploration into some of the shops and arcades, which was fun. Following this, the day was still not done, and we headed round the coast to observe an area which had already been regenerated with new buildings and tourists attractions. On our travels Liv and I found a wounded seagull which we saved from being drowned by the rising tide - Mrs Looker was both surprised and confused to see us running along the path cupping a bird and looking rather pleased with ourselves. Finally it was time to get back on the minibus to the centre before loading up the coach and heading home – that’s right, 5 more hours of drum and bass being blasted from the back of the coach and the sound of teenagers pining after a McDonald’s.

Overall the trip was very useful, and although at times we were tired, cold and grumpy, the group managed to have a good time. Thank you to Mrs Looker, Miss Stitson and Mrs Fry for organising the trip and taking us.

Jasmine Manders, Year 12