Geography Field Trip to the Fylde Coast

Year 11 pupils recently enjoyed a field visit to the Fylde Coast as part of their GCSE course. All pupils studying Geography GCSE must carry out fieldwork for examination paper three, which is worth 30% of the final GCSE grade. Leaving school at 9am so as to arrive in good time at Cleveleys, the first of three locations, pupils were on task by 10.45 collecting the necessary data for analysis.  Specifically looking at the effects of natural erosion on the coastal defences in Cleveleys, Blackpool and St Anne's, pupils studied a number of factors linked to the part that the weather plays in erosion and the effects of human development connected to tourism and the need to erect suitable water defences.


Typical of the study were bi-polar surveys which help the pupils understand the effects of longshore drift, tidal patterns and the effect of the wind. Pupils will use the information to complete a fieldwork homework write-up. The photo below illustrates how tidal patterns affect sea defences:

Bi-Polar Survey:

Bi-polar evaluation of sea defences: Groyne

Negative Factor






Positive Factor

Vulnerable to erosion






Effective protection against erosion

Unable to control coastal flooding






Good Flood Defence

Ugly (poor aesthetic value)






Visually appealing (high aesthetic value)

Poor access to beach






Easy access made to beach

High risk safety hazard to public






No obvious safety risk to public

Short lifespan/high maintenance costs






Good life expectancy/low maintenance costs

High disruption to local people during construction






Low disruption to local people during construction

Disturbs natural coastal processes and habitats






Maintains natural coastal processes and habitats