Catching the last of the warm weather before half term, Year 8 went over to Castleton for the day to collect data for their Geography project. Their key question is a simple one, but one which affects the whole of the Peak Park and other pristine environments beyond- is tourism good or bad for the area?
We started off on the 'broken road' to Mam Tor where we were investigating footpath erosion. Built in 1819 the A625 was closed to traffic in 1979 because of a slow-moving landslide and the half-mile stretch of torn up and twisted road is now unrecognisable. Traversing the side of the mountain we all had a moment of madness and decided we would climb to the top. We scaled up in no time to be greeted by high winds and Year 8 enjoyed being blown around in inflated tracksuits at the summit!
Back for a swift lunch in the minibus as the heavens opened, we now tackled Castleton itself. The children worked in small teams to interview tourists about their visit, conduct a shop and service survey and finally take traffic and pedestrian counts. Only when each worksheet was complete, were they allowed a hearty mug of hot chocolate, a piece of cake and a warm up in the 'Five Roofs Cafe'.
The children are now writing up their project in Geography lessons at school and then these will be sent to their prospective senior schools in March, accounting for 20% of the Geography Common Entrance score.