With an ominous 4000-word piece of Geography A Level coursework on the horizon, Challoner's Sixth Form geographers packed their bags for a hard-working trip to the south coast for some fieldwork experience.

Observing Durdle Door, Matt Dagnall - Year 12

First stop on the visit was geographical phenomenon Chesil Beach - an eighteen mile shingle beach, connecting the Isle of Portland to mainland England. After looking at it from a nearby mound, we went down on to the beach itself and took a close look at pebble sizes, contemplating why they are different and even how the beach itself was formed. We learnt about the contrasting high-energy and low-energy environments but most importantly pondered possible essay titles for our fieldwork investigations.

Then we headed down to popular tourist sites Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. As the weather cleared up, we refreshed our memories about arch and stack formation, especially on the concordant coastline on which we stood. In Lulworth Cove we mulled over the possible impacts of tourism in the area while marvelling at the unique elliptical coastal feature and the impacts of the obvious differential erosion.

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The next morning, we headed into the centre of Swanage, to observe the coastal defenses put in place to preserve the coastline. We then all went to the Studland sand dunes where we got a detailed talk from the Natural Trust about preserving the beach and dunes at Studland due to the erosion and mass tourism that takes place there. After the talk we proceeded to our fieldwork, a profile of the sand dunes. We had to measure the distance, angle and vegetation for each change in the gradient of the dune before plotting our profile back at the youth hostel we were staying in.

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We finished off the day in Poole Harbour and had a relaxing time as the sun set, whilst observing how the harbour had rebranded itself.

Next day, we went to the river that runs through Swanage to look at how it manages to stop flooding, a very interesting and effective system of river management. Then before we left, we just had time for a visit to Hengistbury Head to look across to the fascinating Mudeford Spit.

Overall, it was a great trip and very helpful to our impending coursework. Thank you to Mr Atkinson, Mr Davies, Mr Bushe and Mrs Taylor for making it possible!

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