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Year 12 Geographers explore the Geography of North SomersetMay 9th, 2016
At the end of the Lent Term, AS Level Geographers from HMSG and Monmouth School travelled to North Somerset to investigate the topics of ‘Rebranding Places’ and ‘Crowded Coasts.’ Staying at the picturesque Nettlecombe Court Field Study Centre – located within the Exmoor National Park – the four day field trip consisted of a variety of fieldwork, research and group presentations.
The focus for day one was rural rebranding – the repositioning of an area’s image in order to change people’s perceptions. Students visited two settlements – Porlock and Watchet – and built a profile through surveying each village. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, students were able to assess the need for a regeneration scheme, as well as the effectiveness of strategies already in place.
Day two, we turned our attention to urban rebranding in Somerset’s principal town of Taunton. After considering the main issues and highlighting key areas for development, students undertook surveys and questionnaires and assessed the environmental quality of different areas. During the evening students presented their finding on the success of ‘Project Taunton’ – a multimillion pound regeneration project – including looking at key players and different strategies used for rebranding.
On Day three, we moved on to the Crowded Coasts unit, and travelled to Porlock Bay and Minehead to assess flood risk, and survey sea defences and coastal management strategies. In the evening students explored the data using a Geographical Information System (GIS), which utilises Google map and GEGraph.
On our final morning, we returned to Minehead to focus on the impacts of tourism, considering benefits and costs – socially, economically and environmentally. Students gathered a range of data including environmental quality and impact of tourism surveys. The views of stakeholders were considered regarding coastal development, and Minehead was compared to the ‘Butler Model’ – which illustrates the life cycle of a tourist resort.
I cannot praise enough the commitment and focus of our students. They found the field trip highly engaging and extremely useful for the forthcoming Unit 2 examination. Furthermore, collaboration between HMSG and Monmouth School gave students the opportunity to strengthen team working skills. A big thank you goes to Mrs Harper, as well as our FSC field study tutors.
Mr. N J Meek
Head of Geography