Catch My Drift!

Upper V research Geography

Mr Chappory, Head of Geography, reports on the most recent field visit for the GCSE Geographers:

‘On Friday 11th October, the Geography Department took the 35 Upper V GCSE Geographers to Seaford in East Sussex, in order to study the way that longshore drift and erosion on that coastline is managed. The contrasting site on that coastline, was meant to be Beachy Head (further East) where there is no coastal management and longshore drift and erosion continues unchecked.

    

However, the light rain and moderate winds forecasted at Seaford felt like heavy rain and strong winds once we arrived. In addition, the waves were very high and working conditions were difficult. However, at Seaford we soldiered on and completed a beach profile, sediment samples and took many photographs.

    

Beachy Head was, however, an entirely different proposition, as it can only be accessed via a 30 minute walk along the cut-off meanders of Cuckmere Haven and, although beautiful, perhaps would have gone unappreciated in the sideways rain. At that point the Geography Department had to think quick and the wealth of our fieldwork experience came to our aid.

    

We quickly changed the focus of the study from comparing a managed coastal area and an unmanaged coastal area, to comparing different levels of management at three different locations. Seaford, managed by a terminal groyne and beach replenishment; Rottingdean, managed by high re-curved sea walls and groynes made of rip-rap; Brighton Beach, managed by traditional groynes.

In our opinion, we turned a good field trip into an even better one. The only problem is that we worked in a westward direction which was against Longshore Drift. However, as relatively intelligent human beings, all we have to do in class is write it up in reverse order and it will be great.

Lesson to be learned…. Do the coastal work in the June of Lower V and the urban regeneration work in October! Catch my drift!’