Lower Sixth Field Trip to the North of England

It was an early start on Friday morning for a lengthy six hour drive north. Eventually we pulled up at a car park in the Yorkshire village of Malham and we poured out to see the first sight. After a short period of walking, the magnificent Gordale Scar revealed itself. Towering over the landscape was an imposing vertical-sided gorge with a small river running through, spilling over in a modest waterfall. We were given a brief explanation of the processes taking place and then walked back to Malham along the river, passing a fantastical waterfall named Janet’s Foss along the way. Then it was a drive to the youth hostel in Haworth that was to be our home for the next two nights.

The next day began with a trip to Ingleborough Cave, a limestone cave, where we explored deep into the system, studying the fossil-encrusted carboniferous limestone and the many ways water entered and exited the cave. After exiting, a short walk uphill revealed Trow Gill, a steep gorge which once contained a flowing river. The final physical geography site was Malham Cove. The cove itself is an extraordinary limestone cliff which, just like all the other above-ground landforms we studied, was likely formed by the erosive action of glacial meltwater at the end of the last glacial period. It once had a waterfall crashing over it, but now has nothing but a small resurgence of water at its base, feeding into a clear stream. The limestone pavement at the top provided us with an insight into weathering processes on limestone.

Then it was over to the human geography part of the trip and a visit to Hebden Bridge, which has come top of a number of “Best place to live in the UK” surveys. There we investigated the types of business attracted to a small town. Known as something of a creative hub, the town featured many independent businesses. A well-earned dinner was much appreciated after lots of walking that day!

Sunday saw an early start as we headed for Liverpool. Standing outside the famous Titanic Hotel, located on the verge of the Central business district, we admired the incredible architecture of the abandoned Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse opposite, presently undergoing a regeneration project to be turned into flats. Next we saw the much anticipated “Ten Streets,” currently looking very derelict, though there are plans to regenerate this part of the city into a “creative district” creating 2500 jobs which will hopefully return life and prosperity to the area.

Moving further into the Central Business District it was evident that it became more developed. At the Royal Albert Docks a grass-roots approach to development had been adopted, with individuals transforming existing derelict buildings into new businesses. However, the waterside Liverpool One was clearly the most thriving area of the city. There, we researched which streets had the greatest PVLI (price land value intersection). Lunch at the Baltic Market located in a up and coming trendy area of the city did not disappoint! Finally, we visited Granby Street, which has recently hit the headlines for its derelict properties and houses that can be bought for £1 and then done up for tens of thousands of pounds by new owners. I found Liverpool to be a beautiful historic city with so many possibilities for regeneration. Its future will certainly be interesting to follow.

James Biss and Jamie Humphrey (Lower Sixth)