East Lothian for Advanced Highers

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Occasional showers and a bit of wind did not deter Advanced Higher Geography pupils from Knox, Musselburgh and Dunbar from visiting some of the top geography spots of East Lothian on Monday.

The first stop was Moneynut Edge above Innerwick and a walk up through Aikengall Windfarm. Sheltering behind one of the turbines the group discussed environmental impact of upland wind farm developments, all the more relevant being within sight of both Cockenzie and Torness. Next stop was Cove Harbour to look at coastal erosion processes – plenty of fine examples of wave-cut platforms, stacks and arches. Plus also a visit quick visit to evidence of Coves smuggling past.

After lunch the group drove round to Yellowcraig and met with Dave Wild of East Lothian Council Country-side Ranger Service. First topic was visitor impact and how this relates to the management of the unique coastal habitats of Yellowcraig. The second part of Dave’s very informative session looked at the effect of invasive plant species such such as sea-buckthorn and piri-piri on the natural development of the dune systems. This was particular interest to the pupils who were undertaking sand-dune transects. Dave’s intimate knowledge and passion for this fine stretch of East Lothian coastline was obvious.

Hopefully the day has helped with ideas for some of the pupils who have yet to start their Advanced Higher Investigation, answered many questions for others – and has hopefully given some new ideas for next year’s projects. Thanks to Dave the Ranger , Mrs Hamilton and Ms Hillison for their help.

Student Winter Skills ’10

Plenty of sun and lots of snow provided excellent conditions for the weekend’s Student Winter Skills Course. Twelve S5 and S6 pupils from Knox, Dunbar and North Berwick were on a residential trip to the Cairngorms run by the Outdoor Education Service.

Student Winter Skills '10
Student Winter Skills 10

During the weekend the pupils walked the Northern Corries, climbed Cairngorm Mountain and visited snow-holes high on the plateau … and along the way learned and practiced a host of winter mountain skills. These included mountain navigation, using ice-axe, crampons and snow-pack analysis.

To learn more about what they got up to click on the following to see the photos. Sorry there are so many … but when the weather’s this good…

Click here to open in a full-screen slide-show, to see the videos, or to download pictures.

Through two long mountain days (and a wee surprise night orienteering event) the pupils were always up for the challenge – they were all a credit to their schools.

Big thanks to Miss Ritchie from North Berwick High for assisting the Outdoor Ed staff with the weekend (and good luck in your upcoming Mountain Leader Training.) You can see her North Berwick High school blog post here.

And some links for the students … the main online resources used for the weather was the Mountain Weather Information Service, for avalanche forecasts see the Scottish Avalanche Information Service.