A L6 Geographical Exploration

A group of enthusiastic Headington geographers embarked on an educational and awe-inspiring trip to Cwm Idwal and Betws-y-Coed in Wales, immersing themselves in the study of Welsh identity, tourism’s impact, and the remarkable glaciated landscape.

Earlier this year, Dr Gemma Prata and Miss Rachael Digby taught the glaciation unit to the students, so they were well equipped with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for adventure.

The first stop on their itinerary was Betws-y-Coed, a charming village nestled within the stunning Snowdonia National Park. Here, the students delved into the complex interplay between tourism and Welsh identity.

As they explored the village, they keenly observed how tourism has shaped the local economy, cultural heritage and social dynamics. The impact was tangible, with a myriad of shops, cafes, and attractions catering to the influx of visitors.

Geographer Ulyana (L6) was captivated by the experience and said: “I was amazed by the landforms and enjoyed measuring the striations.”

The group had the opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice as they ventured into the breathtaking Cwm Idwal. This glaciated landscape provided an ideal setting for their fieldwork investigations, which would contribute to their independent research for A Level Geography.

Immersed in the natural splendor surrounding them, the students carefully examined footpath erosion, a pressing issue in environmentally sensitive areas. They observed firsthand the impact of human activity on the fragile ecosystem and considered sustainable solutions to preserve the landscape for future generations.

The hands-on experience allowed them to truly comprehend the importance of responsible tourism and conservation efforts.

Under the guidance of the passionate staff team, the students were introduced to the concept of data gathering in the field. Measuring striations became an obsession for many of the students! These grooves etched into rocks by glaciers served as a fascinating indicator of the region’s glacial past.

Armed with measuring tools and a keen eye for detail, the group meticulously documented these geological phenomena, further enriching their understanding of the dynamic processes that shape our planet.

Reflecting on the trip, Head Girl and geographer Trin said the trip had helped foster a genuine love for Geography and instilled and encouraged a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

The trip to Cwm Idwal and Betws-y-Coed Village provided an invaluable opportunity for the students to experience real-world Geography. Beyond the confines of textbooks and classrooms, they witnessed the tangible effects of tourism, explored a mesmerizing glaciated landscape, and actively contributed to the field of geographic research.

This immersive experience not only enhanced their academic knowledge but also nurtured a deep appreciation for the beauty and fragility of our natural world.

As the students bid farewell to this stunning corner of Wales, they carried with them memories of an extraordinary journey, an enriched understanding of Geography and a profound respect for the interconnectedness of people and places.

Head of Geography Mr David Cunningham said: “Their trip to Cwm Idwal and Betws-y-Coed Village will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on their academic and personal growth, inspiring them to become stewards of our planet’s diverse landscapes.”

L6 Geographical Exploration