Geographical Field  Trip
Austwick, Yorkshire


By B. Dimmock M6A


The purpose of the trip was to give students a wider understanding of physical geography by studying examples in the field.

With these high aims in mind we set off on Sunday 7th July from Ruislip. Despite a late start, Henry, our West Indian coach driver, soon made up time with his own brand of 'stunt' driving. After making ourselves comfortable in our hotel, we spent the evening sampling the hospitality of the village.

Our first day's work was in the Malham area, a region literally 'oozing' with interesting features. The superb weather, and the beauty of such places as Gordale Scar, and Malham Cove, made life on the Geography 'Holiday' seem almost worth living. After completing the objectives of the day, we returned to Austwick to discuss and write about what we had seen.

Day 2 included a studying of Kingsdale Beck and a walk down Ingleton Glen, as well as an unscheduled stop for a swim in the plunge pool of Thornton Force.

Wednesday saw the invasion of the various settlements around Ausiwick by eager groups of potential town planners, bent on comparing the 'advantages' of the chosen places. The ensuing evening saw the party in stunned awe, with intermittent spasms of convulsive laughter as each group in turn tried to prove that they had carried out their objectives. Some of the sources of information seemed decidedly dubious, ranging from 'Susan' to a passing fork lift driver.

Thursday's adventure gave Henry a fine opportunity to display his skills around the winding roads of the lake district. The party sel off for the summit of Helvelyn in brilliant sunshine and finished soaking wet in a dank mist. Next to Thirlmere, after traversing Striding Edge during a raging electrical storm. Although the mist and cloud prevented us from seeing some of the salient features, we now have first hand knowledge of the changeable nature of the European climate.

The trip concluded with a coach trip to visit several important features around Austwick including the nearby Narben Erratics, as well as yet another classical example of a geological unconformity at White Scar Caves.

After a tiring last night, Mr. (Jeremy Flint) Cox and Mr. (Omar) Tanner led the party of grateful students for a final glimpse of the Motorway as we went our weary way home.

The success of the trip was the way in which we managed to mix business with pleasure in the right proportions to satisfy this very important part of the 'A' level syllabus.


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