Second Form Geographers have been studying river processes this year and enjoyed a sunny field trip to the River Cole on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire border to put their classroom learning into practice. Kitted out with wellies, clipboards, tape measures, stopwatches and metre sticks, the group set out to see whether the River Cole met their textbook expectations of how a river’s cross-section varies.
Over the last 30 years, the River Cole has been a demonstration site for river restoration, which has reinstated the River’s natural meandering planform, as well as re-wilding the floodplain. This habitat restoration has seen the River recover much of its ecological diversity and the pupils enjoyed taking part in river dipping; looking for creatures which act as indicators of the River’s ecological health.
Not only did this trip enhance their learning in the classroom, but it also gave them an appreciation of just how important it is to protect our rivers from human modifications and pollution so that they can support a healthy ecology and a diverse, natural environment for people to enjoy.