On Friday 5 June all of the Sidcot Year 8 students embarked on a local fieldtrip to Cheddar Gorge to study tourism in the area and what made this destination such a special place to visit. Upon arrival we received a brief talk on the history or the area and then we made our way down to the infamous Gough’s Cave for a guided tour. This beautiful stalactite cave was once occupied by horse hunters and is the mysterious burial place of the Cheddar Man, the oldest skeletal remains in the UK. The cave really was magnificent and allowed the students to see some of the traditional features of the carboniferous limestone. What really impressed Mr Bufton and I was the interest and involvement of the students in the details of the main cave, which meant we spent far longer down in the caves than was initially planned! It was fantastic to see the students make good use of the guide’s knowledge and the amount of photos which were taken was astounding! Next we were suitably spooked by the Crystal Quest in Cox’s cave which featured a Lord of The Ring theme with strobe lighting and a lot of smoke. Here we encountered Mordon, the Lord of Darkness and his evil dragon Thynngar!
We soon burnt off lunch climbing the 274 steps of Jacob’s Ladder up the side of cheddar Gorge, and the 48 more to the top of the lookout tower. The views at the top were simply breath-taking and the clear skies allowed us to look down into the steep sided valley of Cheddar Gorge that cuts into the Mendip Hills, and see for miles around.
Finally, we visited the original Cheddar Gorge Cheese factory, where we learnt all about the cheese-making process, plus were able to sample a wide variety of cheddars. The Chilli Cheddar was a big hit and has probably made its way back to many parents’ kitchens!
A super day was had by all and I’m sure this trip will remain a big hit for years to come.
Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door
As is tradition for the annual Year 7 Geography trip to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, Aubrey Bufton predicted a glorious day of sunshine and he did not disappoint! It was an early start of 7.30am on 8 June 2015 to make the 2.5 hour long trip down to the Jurassic Coast in Dorset but it was certainly worth it for the views. Having never visited either place myself (a disgrace coming from a Geography teacher) I was really excited about what the day had to offer. We started off with a super talk from the Lulworth Cove Heritage Centre on how the cove has been formed, including studying the local geology of the area, which was followed by the students sketching some of the landscape features at the cove.
After lunch we made the 1.5 mile trek up and over the cliffs to see Durdle Door, a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic coast. I took the lead with some of the faster students and they practically had me running along the stretch of coastline! Durdle Door is a fantastic landscape feature and it is easy to see why this stretch of coastline was given World Heritage Status.
This trip gave the students a first-hand opportunity to witness the types of landscapes that they had been studying in class this Summer term and enabled them to see real life erosion in action! I can’t wait to take another class of students back there next year and hopefully the weather will continue with its traditional bright sunshine!