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Transcript of Box Hill
On Monday, 6th October, year 8 went on a field study trip to Box Hill in Surrey. Our FSC( Field Study Centre) was Juniper Hall, a beautiful mansion, lying in a valley between Lodge Hill and Burford Spur. The Box Hill estate consists of 1200 acres. It is owned and managed by the National Trust.
Our task was to measure the EIA ( Environmental Impact Assessment), as well as conducting a series of trampling investigations on Burford Spur.
Investigation Methods 1
Firstly we gathered all of the equipment that we needed;
0.25m x 0.25m quadrat,
Although Box Hill has been affected by tourism, it is not totally ruined. Looking at the EIA results, the visitor centre was the most affected area probably because it has the most people visiting it each day. It showed signs of vandalism and there was lots of noise, mainly the cars from the road. Burford spur was the least environmentally impacted but there was still proof of dog fouling.
After looking around the Box Hill website ,I was surprised to find out that it did not contain any information at all about how it manages Box Hill and there was nothing informing the visitors about their responsibilities to the area during their visit. For example, the New forest website offers a huge amount of information about how they care for the area and how they sustain the environment. The evidence of litter at the Viewpoint could be managed by putting more bins in that area and maybe a dog waste bin at Burford Spur.
Since going to Box Hill I would promote any sort of clean-up to happen around the viewpoint and maybe an information stand at every point of interest telling visitos about the things that make it special. For Example, at Lodge Hill, maybe a little post with some information about the orchids and box trees.
Unfortunately, the more popular areas like Box Hill become, the more income they get but the higher the impact on the environment. Litter and dog fouling are always problems, but the provision of plenty of bins should help this. Considering how many cyclists and motorbikers go to the area, they should introduce a toll to the famous hilly roads which pays to help maintain the site!
2014 Ethan Brown
Did you know
The Box Hill estate would fit approximately 1000 football pitches!!
Why people come to Box Hill and its history
Box Hill is part of the North Downs chalk escarpment which runs north of Dorking. The coming of railway lines in 1849 and 1867 brought day trippers via Box Hill and West Humble station.
Although Box Hill became very popular in Victoria times, it had found fame long before then.
Flora at Box Hill
The summer orchid is extremely rare
and Box Hill is one of the very few places that you can see one.
The Box Tree(
) is the furthest place north where box trees are known to grow naturally.
Despite the Box tree giving Box Hill its name, Beech trees are actually the most common tree grown.
Fauna at Box Hill
The Purseweb spider, the UK's only tarantula.
The Box Bug, which is endemic to box hill
The Ash Black, the largest slug in the world.
Environmental Impact Assessment
We aimed to investigate the impact visitors had on the vegetation and the environment in two ways:
EIA - Looking for evidence of visitors at different locations.
Trampling exercise - this was to find out the impact of the tourists on the flora around the paths.
Trampling Investigation - Plant Height Data
Trampling Investigation - Total Number of Species of Flora
At Burford Spur we used the quadrant to measure how many species of flora we could see
Trampling Investigation - Soil Depth of each quadrant
Overview of Data
Secondly, the E.I.A. shows us that the visitor centre did show the most disturbance of the environment with evidence of significant litter, noise and air pollution, vandalism which maybe isn't too surprising as it was also the most crowded area. What suprised me was the amount of litter at the viewpoint and the relatively smll evidence of dog fouling everywhere except Burford Spur.
London Olympics 2013
The Olympics brought a surge of tourists to box hill, allowing the financial status to prosper.
Effect of Trampling
Total number of species of fauna
metres along transect
metres along transect
We trekked up to Burford Spur for our trampling investigation. We used the tape measure to lay out a 10 metre line. For each of our metres we carefully measured:
the soil depth,
the total number of species of flora.
My hypothesis is that the centre of the path will show the most signs of wear.
Metres along the transect
Depth of soil in milimetres
Current School: Yardley Court
Prospective School: Sevenoaks
Map of Box Hill
Box Hill is located in the south-east of England in Surrey.
What is Box Hill used for?
Box Hill attracts around 1 million tourists a year, the bulk of whom drive to the top of the hill and disembark at the visitor centre which is a short walk to the viewpoint.
The site offers a vast number of activities; walking, cycling, picnicking, horse-riding, mountain biking, photography,geocaching, running, botany, geography field trips, natural history, guided walks and just to get some fresh air and enjoy the natural beauty.
Has the impact of tourism at Box Hill negatively affected the environment?
The Development of Box Hill
The earliest known evidence of human activity on Box Hill are two Bronze Age round barrows located close to Leopold Salomans memorial. Box Hill was sold to the government in 1914 by Leopold Salomons and was hastily purchased by the National Trust. From then on the tourists took the train to West Humble station and trekked up to the top of the hill.
One of the most famous scenes in Jane Austen's Emma is the picnic on Box Hill.
"They had a very fine day for Box Hill … Nothing was wanting but to be happy when they got there. Seven miles were travelled in expectation of enjoyment, and every body had a burst of admiration on first arriving…"
Jane Austen, Emma
There is also a habitat of Bats And Lepidoptera (A species of butterfly).
Did you know?
www.boxhill.co.uk is a website for a motorcycle club, emphasising the conflict of uses for the area. Their advice to their members..."as long as everyone is happy and relatively quiet, the odd wheelie will get through no trouble!"
Investigation Methods -
Four very different locations were chosen for the EIA: for each location we measured evidence of littering, space (how many people were there), air quality, vandalism and dog fouling. My hypothesis is that the visitor centre will show the most signs of tourist impact.
Limitations to this study
Overall testing scores from EIA
Firstly the Trampling Investigation; The data shows that metre 4 was where the soil was its shallowest. The metre along the transect which had the highest plant height was metre 7 and metre 11 which both had a plant height of 60mm. The lowest metre was at metre 3 where a plant height of only 23mm. These results are consistent with the path being on metre 3-4.
The probelm which hindered the study the most was probably the appalling weather because if the soil was less waterlogged the soil depth would be a completely different set of recordings.
The National Trust had prohibited the infiltration experiment from taking place as there was worry from the previous field trips to Box Hill, that the environment was being ruined because of the infiltration.