On Friday 12th May, 66 year 10 geographers set off to visit Snowdonia to complete field work as part of their GCSE course. Despite some students thinking Snowdonia was in Scotland(!), we made it safely to the field centre in beautiful Betws-y-coed. Once we arrived there was no time to spare as wellies and waterproofs were donned for an afternoon in the river. The girls were studying the changes in the shape and bedload of the river with distance downstream. This involved a walk down the river valley which included some precarious jumps over bogs... In total, 3 wellies had to be rescued from the sinking mud! The girls spent time measuring the river and collecting pebble samples which they wrote up in the evening as their physical geography study.
Day 2 saw the sun still shining, but gale force winds arrived - this certainly tested our ability to stand up in the mountainous environment! We travelled up to the beautiful Nant Francon valley and visited Buc, a local sheep farmer. He shared some fascinating insights about life in North Wales and the benefits and challenges of farming in such an environment. Buc was a great role model as someone who is doing work that they are truly passionate about, despite the difficulties that that may bring.
The girls also visited Cwm Idwal - a beautiful corrie with stunning views over the surrounding valleys. They spent time assessing the impact of tourism in a glaciated landscape which included asking questionnaires to visiting tourists and measuring footpath erosion. The walk around Cwm Idwal also provided an ideal opportunity to see some of the glaciated landscape features the girls have studied during their GCSE course. Field sketches of the Nant Francon valley were made all the more interesting by the gale force winds we faced as we clung onto the corrie lip.
This was the department's first trip to Snowdonia and it has been a great success. The girls have collected a range of excellent data to use in their examination, have learnt some valuable life lessons from Buc(!), and deepened their understanding of the formation and beauty of glaciated landscapes.
I would like to thank the students for all their hard work, and the staff (Mrs Bedford, Mrs Tate and Miss Snowdon) who helped accompany the trip, making it so enjoyable for all. We very much look forward to returning to the centre next year with our new year 10 cohort.
Miss Spencer, Head of Geography