Explorers of the Lake District
GEOGRAPHY PUPILS VISITED THE LAKE DISTRICT AND STUDIED THE LANDSCAPE
Like most British field trips, we have come home with a suitcase full of soaked clothes and muddy walking boots- maybe even more so than others, as we visited the wettest place in England, a farm called Seathwaite, which receives more than 2000mm of rainfall a year. But for a March trip to the Lake District, we really got what we bargained for.
The three days were very tiring, but in the best way possible. Even on the first day, when we arrived in the late afternoon after a seven hour coach journey, there was a chance to stretch our legs in the evening light, and see the amazing landscape for the first time.
I would say that perhaps the most challenging task of the whole trip was making sure everyone had the right equipment. The first morning resulted in chaos as we all ran around trying to find the correct gear, but somehow, by nine fifteen; everyone was ready, a troop of fully-equipped and fully-waterproofed Year 10s.
The fieldwork was split into half a day of investigating the impact of tourism on the local town of Keswick, and half a day of looking at the way glaciers have affected the rocks in Lake District valleys, with classroom sessions every evening. People really got stuck into the field work even before we had left the coach, shouting out names of glacial features we have learnt about in class that they recognised out of the window.
For my group, we had as nice weather as we could have asked for considering the wind was forecast to be extremely strong in the morning. Walking around the town was really interesting, especially after learning about all the background to the tourism industry there. We got to speak to the locals while taking a survey, and then got a real taste for the town at lunch time. I was recommended some prestigious teashop scones and had an amazing curry from a market stall.
Later on, the weather took a turn for the worse, but I like to think that a spot (or a torrent) of rain didn’t ruin the mood of the group. At first, there was drizzling, and as we walked up the valley at Seathwaite the clouds just touched the top of the hills, making for a mystical atmosphere. However, just as we reached the area we were to study, it suddenly, within the space of ten seconds, started pelting it down. The group made as much headway with the work as we could with wind hitting us from side-on, and the rain somehow managing to get past the layers and layers of waterproofs, before hurrying back to the coach. Seathwaite really lived up to its name.
But despite our experiences with true northern weather, we seem to be all safe and sound, having made it back to London in one piece. If every year’s field trips are this action-packed, I don’t know how the teachers keep it up! I think we would all like to thank the centre for having us; the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, the food was amazing, and they had great facilities and grounds there, organising what has been a really good trip.