Year 7 Rivers Fieldwork
On 16 May, Year 7 boys along with Mr Gardner and Miss Peppiatt, went on a Geography field trip to Combe Mill near Long Hanborough to study the Evenlode and its ecosystems.
The trip was run by a fantastic organisation, Everyone’s Evenlode Cotswold AONB, who amongst many other projects, run educational days and family sessions. The boys’ first task was to take several different types of measurements of the river. Usually, they would have been able to put on waders and do the measuring themselves, but unfortunately the river was too high and the velocity too strong for them to go in. Rowan and Ros, the course leaders, did the work for them while the boys helped where they could and recorded the data. They learnt how to measure the width, depth and breadth of the channel using ranging poles, metre sticks and nets to pick up stones from the riverbed. They tested the water for nitrates and phosphates and learned about how farming pollutes the water and how Thames Water, among other water companies, are making national headline news due to high levels of sewage in the river. The boys also threw sticks in the water to measure its speed at different points on the meander. They were able to use their own knowledge to answer questions about river catchments and meander cross-sections.
The second part of the morning involved a muddy footpath through a planted meadow to a large, unspoilt pond on the floodplain. Using nets, trays and reference sheets, they had fun pond dipping. There were squeals of delight and disgust as the boys pulled out tadpoles, beetle larvae and water spiders. They managed to stay dry too! The day was rounded up with a beautiful walk to explore the surrounding woods and fields. The boys were taught to look for signs of forest management, flood management, evidence of glaciers and ice ages, natural springs and where the Blenheim Palace Christmas trees are grown! The leaders praised the school and the boys for their fantastic behaviour, engaging attitude and challenging and enquiring questions.