This week we have had a visit from the A-level Geographers at Oldbury Wells School in Shropshire. Working towards their NEA (Non Examined Assessment) investigations that are a key part of the qualification, we’ve been out in the rural settlements around Trewern and down to the coast. The target was to provide skills and quality data for the students to work with when coming up with their own projects, and they certainly left with plenty to go on. Talgarth was our destination for Monday afternoon, taking in the features of a key settlement, and therefore at the urbanised end of the rural continuum. The town is an ideal case study, with a new primary school on the way, infilling at a number of locations, plus a successful regeneration project in the town’s mill (featured in the BBC’s Village SOS in 2011). It was fairly quiet, as you’d expect on a wet and windy Monday afternoon, but still plenty of data was generated, whilst amply illustrating what life is like in dormitory settlements. Tuesday involved a long drive down to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast to look at coastal processes and a little on how the coast is managed. The main focus was beach profiling in two contrasting locations, looking at morphology and sediment sorting, but there was also questionnaire-ing, surveys to complete and cost-benefit analyses. Today was even windier for a visit to Capel-y-ffin, at the extremely remote end of the rural continuum, which has very little in the way of modern development, and is increasingly isolated, with very few services. The day was made more interesting by a tree falling across the road on our return to the Centre, necessitating a long detour around the whole of the Black Mountains! The joys of the rural environment.
Anyway, good luck to the students, thank you for a great week, and all the best for the future.