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Cracking Coasts Trip to Hunstanton

Stamford geography trip HunstantonStamford High School Year 7 Geography students visited Hunstanton where they became ‘Geography detectives’ tasked with four mysteries. Mystery 1 was ‘Why has Michael put rocks at the base of the cliff? The second mystery was ‘Why is Mrs Goggins at No. 53 sea view not worried about coastal erosion? Thirdly, ‘Why is the sea brown and which direction does it move? And finally, ‘Why has Mrs Buckman chosen to go to Hunstanton for her summer holiday this year?’ Two Year 7 students have written the following report about the trip:

For Mystery 1, in the lesson before we predicted why we thought Michael had put rocks at the base of the cliff, and then on the trip we saw how the erosional process of ‘solution’ causes coastal erosion. We found out that the sea water was more acidic than normal water which means sea water would dissolve cliffs slightly quicker.  Then we found out which type of rock eroded quicker by putting it into a small amount of white vinegar, we discovered that carrstone/boulder clay dissolved quickest.  This told us that Michael put rocks at the base of the cliff to try and stop coastal erosion as he wanted to protect the soft rock at the bottom.

Stamford high school trip to hunstantonFor our second Mystery we looked at the sea defences and coastal management that have been built in Hunstanton. There was a sea wall and groynes. The sea wall was made from thick concrete and the groynes were made of either concrete or wood. After looking at the sea defences we then started to measure the sand height either side of the groynes (both south and north). We found out that the sand was piled up higher on one side to stop longshore drift from happening. We can clearly say that Mrs Goggins is not worried about coastal erosion because the sea defences are there to protect her.

For our third mystery we collected seawater, poured it through some filter paper, and waited for the sand and mud to filter through.  As the process was happening we were asked to describe the waves and how the sea looked that day. Then for our second experiment, we threw oranges into the sea to see which direction and how far it would travel. We found out that whichever way the orange went was the way the sea was going which was also the direction of the wind; this is a process called longshore drift.

For the final mystery we looked at the different services provided in town itself. We had to decide which ones were aimed at tourists and which were for locals. We tallied the following services: residential (houses and flats), offices and business, shops for tourists, shops for locals, recreation (amusement/bowling) and other. We thought that she had chosen to go there because of the all of the incredible activities she can do.

We all had an amazing day at Hunstanton and got a better view on why sea defences are important, how cliffs are protected, what longshore drift is and what life is like in Hunstanton. We think this was a great way to get a better understanding of the sea and how we can protect it. A big thank you to Mr Smith and the Geography Department, and the Year 7 tutors, for organising the trip.

Written by Abi and Tilly, 7JRH