Latest News

« Back to News

Year 8 Investigate the Coastal Geography of South Wales

May 18th, 2015


On the 7th May, Year 8 visited three local coastal locations:  Ogmore-by-Sea, Southerndown Beach and Barry Island.  The title of the field trip was ‘Investigating coastal processes, landforms and management.’  The weather forecast looked favorable, sunny intervals and no rain.

Ogmore-by-Sea is a small coastal village in the Vale of Glamorgan.  It lies on the western limit of the Glamorgan Heritage Coastline.  The low cliffs and rock platforms along the coast from the mouth of the River Ogwr provide outstanding access to some of Wales’s finest geological heritage.  200 million years ago (early Jurassic) the area had a tropical climate and its seas were alive with ammonites and giant marine reptiles.  Local cliffs are renowned for their fossils.

At Ogmore and Southerndown beaches pupils collected environmental quality survey data and answers to coastal detective questions.  After observing the breathtaking views of cliffs and wave-cut platforms from Witches Point Headland, pupils drew a sketch map of Dunraven Bay.  This was followed by a fossil hunt resulting in some excellent finds of ammonites and Gryphae (Devil’s toenails).  Pupils considered management issues at Southerndown, focusing on cliff erosion and the impacts of tourism.

At Barry Island pupils considered how this once thriving South Wales holiday resort is attempting to ‘rebrand’ itself in order to attract new visitors and businesses.  Pupils surveyed shops and services, the quality of the environment and interviewed visitors.  The day was completed by an ice-cream at Marco’s Café made famous by the BBC series Gavin and Stacey.  Publicity from this TV series has certainly increased visitor numbers in recent years.  Pupils discovered that ‘Barrybados’ is the new brand name for the area.  Stickers, T-shirts and mugs can be purchased bearing this new title.  Mr Meek is yet to be convinced that Barry is the ‘Lesser Antilles’ of the Bristol Channel!

Pupil comments:

“It was great being by the sea and learning about coastal geography.  I really enjoyed Barry Island and carrying out questionnaires with tourists and local people.”

“I learnt a lot and really enjoyed myself.  I would love to do trips like this again.”

“The cliffs at Southerndown were amazing.”


« Back to News