The Eden Project Trip

Geography, Travel, Humanities & Modern Languages

Our second year A Level Geography and Environmental Science students have just returned from a very successful field trip to the west country. 

The purpose of the visit was to enrich the study of marine environments and terrestrial ecosystems to support the content of the A Level specifications in both subjects.

On the way to Cornwall, we stopped at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, which houses a wide range of marine species from around the world, and includes the largest aquarium tank in the UK, which is home to sharks, turtles and many fish species.

The students had a very informative guided tour by a marine biologist around the aquarium which considered the problem of over-exploitation of the oceans, climate change and other threats to the biodiversity of our marine environment. The tour promoted thoughtful discussion about how we can use our oceans more sustainably.

During the trip the students stayed for two nights at Boswinger YHA, which is situated in a remote location on the Cornish coast and was an appropriate and comfortable base for our trip.

On the second day, we walked the china clay trail for five miles in the rain into The Eden Project, which is one of the best examples of rural regeneration in the UK. The Eden Project has been much more successful that its founders could have hoped for and over the last 16 years since it opened to the public, it has had over 15 million visitors.

We had some time to enjoy the site independently before having an excellent tour of the tropical rainforest biome where our guide, a geography graduate, pointed out some of the most interesting features and issues affecting the world’s rainforests.

After the talk we had a chance to climb to the very top of the dome and look down on the tropical biome. Our second day was completed with the Big Quiz – focusing on everything we had covered over the two days and is was highly competitive – we even had a bushtucker trial round! After leaving Boswinger on the last day we headed for Plymouth, having a stop in the Cornish fishing town of Looe en route.

The University of Plymouth was our last port of call, and here we were given a tour of the campus, a presentation on student life  by some student ambassadors, and a talk by one of the lecturers on studying Geography and Environmental Science at Plymouth. 

Our visit to the university was completed with a workshop on using Google Earth and GIS in Geography which was very enjoyable, and for many it was a great opportunity to get a flavour of what universities have to offer.

All in all a great three days!