The fragile Environment at Hengistbury Head is used and enjoyed by people in a sustainable way

“The fragile Environment at Hengistbury Head is used and enjoyed by people in a sustainable way”

Which means: the visitors who visit Hengistbury Head enjoy, and use it in a way which doesn’t damage it.

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Location

Hengistbury Head is situated at the south coast of England, just north of the Isle of White. It separates Christchurch Bay, and The channel. Christchurch is roughly 4km away to the north and 10km from Bournemouth. Its main feature is Warren Hill which is an isolated highland cut off from nearby hills of South Bourne to the west, St Catherine’s to the north and Highcliffe to the east, by the Rivers Stour and Avon. It provides an area of outstanding archaeological interest and for centuries it has been of great importance.

There is evidence of Man’s activities from the Old Stone Age through to relatively modern times. However, human settlement was said to have ended some fourteen hundred years before that of Bournemouth began. During the Iron Age it flourished, being one of the busiest ports in the country and has provided many archaeological finds such as the double dykes. Hengistbury Head is of considerable archaeological interest, with evidence of Iron Age and Roman settlement. There are Information signs which show the history and wildlife of the area and there are nature trails to be explored.

It provides many places to walk ride a bike or even take the land train. There is access to the beach or you can walk up over the Head to take in the breath-taking views of the surrounding areas. It is a place where nature can be enjoyed by those wishing to escape the frustration of everyday life. There are car park facilities and Cafe’s near by.

The one-and-a-half kilometre long Hengistbury Head beach is fantastic to walk on. Most of the headland remains undeveloped and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the wide variety of plant and animal life it supports.

Hengistbury Head beach is a south facing pebble beach below imposing limestone cliffs. No routine sewage discharge has been identified. A Storm Water Overflow exists in the area so care should be taken bathing after heavy rainfall. There are no lifeguard cover or emergency facilities. Care should be taken, as there can be strong tidal currents. There are no bins, but the beach is cleaned frequently by the council. Dogs are allowed and dog bins are provided.

This is a view from the middle of Warren Hill.

It shows where lots of erosion has caused two

Bays to be formed.

Data Collection

We stopped at the foot of Warren hill, and conducted a transect survey across a path to measure the effect of peoples’ feet on the vegetation and soil. We had to measure seven things:

1) Grass Cover (%)

2) No. Of Broad Leaved Plants

3) Bare Ground (%)

4) Height of veg (CM)

5) Penetrometer

6) Soil Moisture (%)

7) Depth below surrounding level (CM)

After doing these experiments, I came up with a short conclusion, which the graphs show. “As you get further into the centre of the path (where people walk) there is more bare ground, fewer broad leaved plants, its drier, harder, and lower than the outskirts of the path. This is because more people tend to walk in the middle of paths, not the edges.

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