Wildboarclough Field Trip - Geography Essay Example

The field trip was held on the Friday the 14th of September 2001 - Wildboarclough Field Trip introduction. We arrived at the destination, which was Wildboarclough at roughly 10am. We left Wildboarclough at roughly 2pm, arriving back at school at 3pm. Wildboarclough is just on the boarders of the peak district and is protected by the law for its natural beauty. The start point is the Cat and Fiddle pub, which is the second highest pub in England, about 505m above sea level. The finish point is the Clough House Farm from which is 300m above sea level.

On the way down we noticed that the changes of the landscape and its environment where innaculate. From the top the land is peat moorland with very little different types of vegetation as we continued down the path we noticed that we where gradually going into a typical river valley. The land use varied as the attitude lowered. At the start there was very little human developments. As we carried on down we noticed that the first trees at 390m above sea level, this is called the tree line this is because the trees have trouble surveying at higher altitudes. There where more human developments like the cottage and farmland as we went on. At the bottom we had the typical river valley with is levees and flood plain.


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We walked down a set path from an altitude of 505m to 300m above sea level. The overall distance that we walk was 2800 metres long. We took measurements of the different things such as the air temperature and the soil temperature, looking for the changes and patterns, which occurred during the walk.

We are using the results to help us to understand in changes in Earth’s environment at the different attitudes of the sites.


We collected the results from 8 different sites, which are listed below:

Start. Cat & Fiddle. 505m a.s.l.

1. Drainage Channel. 510m a.s.l.

2. Signpost. 520m a.s.l.

3. River Valley. 470m a.s.l.

4. Waterfall. 440m a.s.l.

5. Mine. 450m a.s.l.

6. Just before the cottage. 370m a.s.l.

7. Just after the cottage. 325m a.s.l.

8. Floodplain. 300m a.s.l.

Finish. Clough House Farm. 300m a.s.l.

These are the seven different results that people collected during the trip.

Air Temperature.

The group consisted of four people, which spited into two groups to take the air temperature of all the sites. The groups used a data logger, which displays the data. The data logger had an air temperature sensor, which measured in �C. The data logger had a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). They had to hold the equipment as high as they possible can and taking care not to touch the sensor this could effect the results. The data logger had to be given time to let the results the settle. Ideally, if we the time and the people we would of taken multiple reading of each site and then worked out the average. An other recommendation is that the results should been taken at the same period of time this is called simultaneously.

Soil temperature

The group consisted of four people, which split into two groups to take the soil temperature. The equipment that we used was a soil probe thermometer, which measured in �C.

To improve the data we could have taken the readings of all the sites simultaneously as previous described, also taken multiple reading and take the average of those results. Care was taken not to touch the rod and we waited patiently for the results to settle. Had we not taken these precautions the results could have been inaccurate.

Soil Samples.

The group consisted of two people. They collected soil samples from all 8 different sites using a trowel and stored the soil in airtight plastic bags. Two pupils carried out two tests on the soil samples on Wednesday 14th September. The two tests where moisture content and the soils pH level.

Soil moisture

They used accurate weighing scales to take the mass of the soils. After that they placed the samples into an oven for two days. In which the soil was dried out. Then the mass of the soil samples was weighed again. The change in mass of the soil samples was then calculated, which later was turned into a percentage.

Soil pH

The sample was placed into a test tube. Then added distilled water into the tube. Then we included a small amount barium sulphate, which helps remove any impurities. The universal indictor was the introduced; this changed accordingly to what the pH is. Then the colour of the soil was matched up with the colour chart.

Slope Angles.

The group consisted of two people, who had to be roughly the same height because it’s important to do this due to the effect on the results which would cause a great deal of changes in the angle of the slopes. The two people have to stand about 20 paces away from each other along the path at each site. They have a clinometer (look at diagram), which takes the angle of the slope.

The clinometer was operated by holding it at each other’s heads. Then the trigger brake was released which allows the weighted wheel to swing until it settles. The brake was then applied allowing the reading of the angle. Ideally if we had the time we would take multiple reading of each sites and than work out the average.

Vegetation Survey.

This group consisted of three people, which had to collect the vegetation survey data. Two of the people used a quardart which is spilted into 100 squares (1 square = 1%). The quardart is thrown into a semi random place away from the path. Then we had to analyse the species of vegetation in the quadart. The extra person has to go around each separate site collecting as many of different types of vegetation as possible.

Land Use Map.

There was only one person collecting the data from all the sites. They had a spare copy of the Land use map. They had to mark on two things.

1. Changes in land use e.g. Housing, farming land.

2. Evidence of human activity e.g. buildings, draining systems.

The only trouble with this kind of data is that it’s based on individual observation skills and judgement, this could be bias and information could be missed.

Environment Quality Survey.

This group consisted of two people which had a copy of the environment quality survey score grid. Each site is given a score out of five on ten separate issues e.g. freedom of litter. The total score is out of 50. The only trouble with this data is that it’s based on an individual observation and that people have different views.

Sub-hypothesis: Environment quality


Down the slope.

Description of results.

All the environment quality results are marked out of 50. The highest score was 43 out of 50 which was site four (440 above sea level). This site received maximum marks in the following categories: freedom from noise, Attractiveness of vegetation, tourist amenities, attractiveness river and also attractiveness of landscape. The lowest score was site one (510m above sea level) with 27 out of 50. It only received the maximum marks in 1 of categories, which was wildlife. This site mainly received two’s and three’s with the odd fours.

The range of the results was 16 marks, which is a lot. The average total mark was 37.4. Sites one and two scored below this average with all the other sites receiving more than the average. There was a pattern that we noticed in the results. The total score started of lowish and than rapidly increased. The score peaked off at site four than just drops off slightly after site four. There are no major anomalies in the results but there’s one tiny anomalies this is at site six where the score just dropped off slightly.

Explanation Of Results

The highest score on the results was site four 43 out of 50. This site scored the best results because of numerous of thing which effected the results. They are:

* The site had its own little microclimate. This means that the site was sheltered more because of the waterfall had cut gauges into the land.

* This site also had the best of both worlds. By this I mean that it is situated in a place far from the roads and other human activity and it was not situated in the middle of anywhere in which people cannot access it easy. At this site nature controlled the actives like the erosion.


The statement about this site is not true because it’s the complete opposite of the statement.

Sub Hypothesis:

Both air temperatures and

soil temperatures changes with altitude.

Description Of Results

Air temperature.

We measured the air temperature in �C with a data logger using a temperature probe. The greatest air temperature was at site seven with 15.2�C see graph just below this paragraph. The lowest temperature was 9.5�C at site one. The range of the results was 5.7�C. The average temperature was 12.8�C. All the following sites eight, seven, six and three are above the average temperature with five, four, two and one scoring below the average. The pattern that I noticed was that at the beginning the temperature rapidly increased till site three than it sharply decreased to site four than after that it rises steady to site seven where it levels off. There was one anomaly this was at site three where it rises higher than the rest did.

Explanation Of Results

Site seven had the highest temperature out of all the sites. This is because this site was sheltered by the surrounding forest which help prevent the wind accessing this site therefore the temperature would increase. This site was at the bottom of a river valley therefore the surrounding mountains/hills sheltered it from the wind.

The lowest temperature was at site one, this is because the altitude is greater than any other sites and also that this site had no shelter from the wind which would decrease the temperature. The results was affect by the time of the day like at site one the time was about 10am where at site 8 it was about 2pm.

There was one anomaly this was at site three where it rises higher than the rest did. This could have been because that the time of day the sun could been shining on this area which could make the area more warm and increase the air temperature.

Soil Temperature

Description Of Results

We used a soil probe thermometer to measure the soil temperature (�C). The highest temperature was 10�C at site three. The lowest soil temperature was at site one with 6�C. The range of the soil temperature was 4�C. The overall average was 8.2�C. The following sites eight, seven, six, four, and three score above the average, the following sites one, two and five scored below the average. I noticed a pattern in the results. The temperature rapidly increases to site three than after the temperature decreased till site five and than after that it increases at a steady rate until site seven where it levels off.

There were two anomalies that I noticed. The first one was at site three where it increases to rapidly. The other one was at site five, which was only minor.

Explanation Of Results.

Site three got the highest results because it is sheltered by the rivers valley from the wind and at the time of the day which we recorded the result the weather could of changed from poor the good. Site one scored the lowest result was because the site is at a higher altitude than any of the other sites. The time of the day was in the early morning, which meant that the temperature would have been lower than in the afternoon.

There are two anomalies. The first one is at site three, which scored the highest. The reason that site scored so high is that the site was in a river valley and that the time of day is not simultaneously so the weather could have varied during the daytime. The second anomaly was at site five, which is lower than expected. This site could of scored lower because the temperature could not been taken at a simultaneously so that the weather and the climate changed over the period of time.


The Sub-hypothesis was true the air and soil temperature does change with altitude.


Soil pH is related to

Moisture content.

Explanation Of Results

The highest soil pH level was at site eight and six see graph soil pH is relate to soil moisture content, which the pH level was 7.0. The lowest pH level was at site seven with 5.0. The range of the pH level is 2.0. The average pH level for all eight sites is 6.06. The following sites one, two, four, five and seven all scored below the average. The following sites three, six and eight all scored above the average.

The highest moisture content was at site one, with 90.0% of water. The lowest result was 30.4% of water this was at site eight. The range of the result was 60.5% of water. The overall average was 58.76% of water, which is lower than the range. The following sites one, two, five, and six scored above the average. The following sites three, four, seven and eight score below the average. The graph was a poor negative correspondent.

Explanation Of Results.

Site eight scored the highest pH level because the land is a flood plain, this means that the river could deposit acidic chemicals from upstream. Also the land is permanent pasture used by a farmer who farms this land all year round and probable uses fertiliser to help the vegetation growth. Site six scored the same as site eight, this could be accounted for due to the close woodlands, as trees excrete acidic by-products of photosynthesis. Site seven had the lowest pH level because the land is improved pasture used by the farmer who farms this land in the year. The farmer probable improved the land by draining in some way or other. This could of help the soil to excrete the acidic chemicals which was deposited by the rain.

Site one scored the highest moisture content because the land is peat moorland, which is poorly decomposed peat vegetation and infertile soils of little use for agriculture. Site eight scored the lowest moisture content. This is because the land is permanent pasture which is agriculture land used for grazing of animals which been improved by the farmer to such an extent that it could be used all year round.


The Sub-hypothesis was false that the soil pH is related to moisture content.


Land use changes with altitude.

Explanation Of Results.

Explanation Of Results.

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