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Transcript of Box Hill
On Monday 6th of October Year 8 went on a field trip to Box Hill to measure the impacts of tourism. The Box Hill estate measures 1200 acres that is around 1000 football pitches. The hill takes its name from the box woodland that lives on the hill. The hill has forty percent of box trees in the United Kingdom living on it. The hill normally receives one million visitors per years but in 2012 Box Hill had the most visitors it had ever had, this was due to the Olympic road race being hosted on the hill. Box Hill is owned by the National Trust and has been since 1914 when it was handed over to the public and the National Trust by private owner Leopald Salomons to stop it from being developed on. Box Hill is an SSSI (special site of scientific interest), SAC (special area of conservation) and an AONB (area of natural beauty). The site is also part of the Metropolitan green belt so it cannot be developed on. The hill is situated twenty miles south east of London and part of the North Downs, Surrey. It is also not far from West humble station but over the recent years people have just driven to the top. The hill is now mostly used for recreational reasons and the spectacular view.
Box hill has been popular for two hundred years as it used to be a place for the people of London to get out into the countryside for some fresh air and a family picnic during the war. People originally visited Box Hill using the nearby station but now they drive to the top of the hill
The impact of tourists on the environment of Box Hill
Before we began our investigation we all made predictions and I predicted that the visitors centre would have been impacted the most by tourism for the EIA assessment and the further along the transect you went the plants would be more diverse and the soil depth would be deeper
Environmental Impact Results
Maximum Plant Height
Evaluation of Results
For the trampling investigation I found that seven metres along the transect had the most plant species living in it. I found that the plant diversity did not increse the further along the transect instead it stayed even and was most diverse at five metres.although I did find that broad leafed grasses and fine leafed grasses appeared in every metre along the transect and moss only grew at the ninth metre along the transect. For the maximum plant height investigation I found that the plants were tallest five metres along the transect but I was only able to get the plant measurements on the odd metres along the transect as the rain hindered me from making progress and caused me to run out of time before I could get the results. In my soil depth results I found that the soil was deepest seven and nine metres along the transect, this meant I concluded that the path ended five metres along the transect and the plants did not grow after five metres as the certain space is used by animals to graze or not rich in nutrients required for plants to grow as the soil depth would be less if it was a path
For the environmental assessment I found my hypothesis to be correct as, I found the pollution to be the worst at the visitors centre even though there was no dog foul. I chose this location because I know that it has a car park and a shop. These two will bring car fumes, noise and litter wherever the location. Lodge Hill and Burford Spur I found to be the least polluted as Lodge Hill is furthest away from the visitors centre and does not have a road leading to it. A recent National Trust survey showed that the average visitor walks 100m in total and as Lodge Hill is half a mile away it will not be visited often. My group was the only one there at the time but my group visited on a rainy day in October and if I had visited during the summer my results may have been very different.
Soil Depth on Burford Spur
The Rain also hindered me from completing my results
Box Hill by
The flora on the improved grassland is quite low as there are only five natural species in a one metre square but on unimproved grassland you will find forty to fifty different species. On Box Hill examples of rare orchids grow these are one of the big scientific interests on Box Hill
The hill used to have an endemic species living on it called the Box Hill bug until it was recently found in France and had to change its name to the Box Bug. The hill is also home to the longest slug in the world measuring thirty centimetres and is called the Ash Black slug. The hill is also home to the United Kingdom's only Tarantula.
Ash Black slug
UKs only tarantula
Which of of the four places we investigated had the biggest impact of tourism
The first investigation we performed was a trampling investigation in this we used a fifty centimetre ruler, a tape measure, a one metre quadrat and a soil pin. We only performed this on the first site we visited. First we measured a distance of ten metres and laid the quadrat down every metre and measured the soil depth in five different places in the quadrat, the height of the tallest plant and the number of different species of plant within the quadrat. In all four sites we visited we measured the environmental impact by rating the noise, space, air quality, litter, dog fouling and vandalism out of five although I think some of my results may have been different on a busier day. The reason we performed the investigation here was because it is accessed the most by foot. Although this year we were not able to perform our infiltration assessment because the National Trust feel it is helping erode the environment at an accelerated rate and preventing them from fully protecting the Box Hill environment. Although this stopped us from completing the investigations it did make us wary of the fact that the the National Trust is trying to protect the hill for future generations.
I wasn't able to record the max plant height at every metre because of the rain
Equipment Used in Trampling Investigation
Current school: Yardley Court
Prospective school: Tonbridge
To conclude the various investigations I found that Box Hill has been impacted by tourism, but I did notice that the National Trust has made an impact by protecting parts of Burford Spur as we were forbidden from performing our infiltration test because they feel it is harming and eroding the path quicker than normal. I found two out of my three hypothesises to be correct. Although I did notice that many of my results in the environmental assessment were impacted as the weather was poor and if it had been sunnier and less rainy when I visited there would have been more noise and dog foul but less space. If I had visited during the summer my results would have been very different along with the trampling investigation. My results may also be different if I perform them over a space of a week or even a few days as they will be more accurate. Based on my results I have concluded that the tourists do use the path and have eroded the plants where they walk. It is easily visible that the shops, car park and road through the area do make an impact on the environment and I feel they should be moved away so the natural beauty of the site can be truly explored without interruption from passing traffic or litter. We also make a difference on the Box Hill environment as we are the ones dropping the litter, leaving dog waste and creating the noise. We should put our litter in our pockets or dispose of it in a bin (not the ground!!). We can park at the bottom of the hill and walk up but mostly we should clean after our dogs and not leave it for someone else to step in.
I very much enjoyed the time I spent at Box Hill and apart from the rain it was a very successful and fun trip. I would very much like to do it again in the near future.
In the trampling investigation I was trying to find if the path had a different plant diversity and how much it had been eroded by the public and for the EIA assessment which area had been affected the most by tourism by Box Hill and how much the National Trust is doing to protect it. We used four different locations to find which areas are the most popular and why by judging how the environment had been affected by tourism. For my trampling investigation I was trying to prove that the plants are taller and more diverse off the path.
How much has tourism affected Box Hill
I was not able to get pictures of my own equipment and my group working on Box Hill as the weather was so poor and may have harmed the lens of my camera