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Geographers Visit Carding Mill Valley

Senior School

16 June 2023

Year 8 pupils recently travelled to Shropshire to visit Carding Mill Valley, a National Trust site home to the Ashbrooke River, to investigate the question “How does the river change as you move downstream?”

When the class arrived, they were greeted by stunning scenery, including a V-Shaped valley, and tons of hungry, grazing sheep. They were then given various pieces of equipment to complete their river investigation including ranging poles, clinometers and corks. Each group walked to different parts of the river, for example, two groups of students were led by their teacher to the lower site, where they used two ranging poles and a measuring tape to set up a 10m section of the river in which to carry out their measurements.

With this, groups were able to find the speed of the river by dropping a cork from one pole and recording the time it took till it reached the other using a stopwatch, but also the gradient of the river using a clinometer. The length and depth of the river was also measured, using a ruler, meter stick and measuring tape too. In addition to measuring the river itself, groups also took a sample of 10 rocks which were categorised according to their shape, using Powers’ Roundness Index.

On their way to lunch, the groups spotted some very interesting creatures, including a toad, a jay bird and various fish. Girls sat in the sun to enjoy their lunch, accompanied by lots of sheep. Some students walked up to the cafe on site to purchase an ice cream or a sweet treat. 

After lunch, the groups applied the skills and knowledge they’d learned to measure a different site along the river. For example, the group who had measured the river at the lower site first used the same methods to measure the speed, width, depth and gradient of the river at the upper site. Overall, girls concluded that the depth of the river and the width of the river both increased, the angle became gentler and the rocks became smaller and more rounded moving downstream.

The students all had a great day and lots of pictures were taken of the beautiful river landscape. 

A big thanks to the teachers who accompanied us on the trip!

Written by Grace Bennett, Year 8

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