For over 40 years, the Geography Department has organised a walk for our Year 7 boys to introduce them to the local Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, encouraging a connection to the beautiful environment that surrounds our school. This year, the tradition continued with a renewed emphasis on sustainability.
After a wet start to the school year, our group were fortunate to have a sunny day so ‘put their best feet forward’, divided in to two groups, and headed up the Kymin. This is a walk of endless views and trees, none better than the dramatic break in the trees of the Everard Oak. Here, the giant oak stands, leading one’s eyes towards the Black Mountains in the distance, a chance for our group to appreciate the significance of protecting ancient trees like this in the face of environmental challenges.
Further down the hillside, the boys ventured through Lady Park Wood, observing the intricate ecosystems, with its little mammal flaps, too tight for even the smallest Year 7 to wriggle through.
Crossing the River Wye at Biblins Bridge, with Simon Evans’ Rivers talk fresh in mind, the groups considered the historical challenges faced by the Wye, and how these issues impact us all. There were some nervous moments as, six at a time, they crossed the bouncy bridge back over the River Wye and headed home.
As they approached the finish line, passing by King Arthur’s Cave, Wyastone Leys, and the Wye Valley flood defences, they reflected on the importance of responsible land use and flood prevention strategies. And finally, tired but still smiling, the boys passed Monmouth Rowing Club and raised their arms with joy as the school crept back into sight.
Throughout the challenging walk, our Year 7 boys achieved a real sense of community, fostering new friendships and gaining a newfound appreciation for our surrounding environment, and their role in preserving it.
Scott Rentell, Head of Geography said “The boys were a joy to be with, bonding with each other, whilst enjoying the stunning views along the way. I would like to thank all staff involved on the trip, without whom it could not have been such a success.”
Additionally, we would like to thank all the staff involved in the trip, who played a crucial role in educating our young minds about the significance of sustainability in our beautiful Wye Valley.