Year 8 Geography Field Trip to Castleton – 7th October 2016
Beth Martin Nixon writes about the Castleton fieldtrip :
After a beautiful week of sunshine and clear blue skies on Friday, the day of our field trip to Castleton, it was a cold grey day. When we set off from school on the two coaches, it started to rain.
We quickly left Manchester behind and started to climb up the windy roads and over the hills to the Peak District. It was still raining we began our descent into the misty Hope Valley, but it did look like the rain would stop so we decided that we would get off the coaches at the top of Mam Tor and walk down the road into Castleton.
The first task we needed to complete as part of the field trip was to sketch the Hope Valley, but we were unable to do this, as it was too misty to see what to draw. Mr Newell explained to us that the land had slid down the hill-side, and that the tarmac road had cracked because of this. I was surprised to see how badly damaged the road was, as we had to jump down from the different levels of the tarmac, which once would have been smooth and flat. In places the white line, which had separated the two lanes, was still visible, but in others the white line had smashed away. I was glad we hadn’t been driving along the road on the day when the landslide had occurred.
Everybody eventually walked down the hill, slipping this way and that. A couple of people slid in the extremely muddy patches, leaving muddy patches on their pants, which they then had to be hidden by tying their coats around their waists. By the time we got to the bottom of Mam Tor, it had stopped raining and the mist had cleared.
We went to the Information Centre car park for lunch, where we were welcomed by the ducks, who seemed to like Quavers and ham sandwiches. Mr Smith talked to us about the data we needed to collect, which would show us how tourism impacts on Castleton, in the Peak District National Park. We started off by mapping the shops and services in the village, and I enjoyed this, as it was like being on a treasure hunt. Our group did really well and we found all the shops and discovered some new ones too. The majority of the shops were for the use of tourists, like us, and not really for the locals.
We also made a note of the environmental quality, Castleton was a really nice village; it was quiet and there was no litter anywhere. The residents make a big effort to look after the village.
We saw lots of other school children in Castleton, who all seemed to be there on Geography field trips too. One school was from Sheffield, which demonstrates that people from South Yorkshire and also Manchester can visit the Peak District fairly easily.
We were quite quick to finish completing our work, and once Mrs Rankin had checked our sheets, we got to spend time exploring the village and found a cottage called Douglas House as well as having time to visit the sweet and fudge shop, which was just off the main road.
It was soon time to get back on the coaches and head out of the Hope Valley and back home. We went over the Snake Pass, not appreciated by those who suffer from travel sickness, but greatly enjoyed by everyone else.
Some of us listened to a 60 second music clip of ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’ repeatedly. It was really funny, because Mr Douglas was dancing along to it, but by the time we got back to school he was fed up of listening to the same song over and over again.
I would like to say a big thank you to the teachers who helped to make this day possible, and to Mr Pearson for taking the photographs to remind us of this trip. I really enjoyed myself and hope we get to go on more Geography field trips.
The second group of students go to Castleton on Tuesday 11th October, ensuring all Year 8 students learn out in the field.