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Henry Garrard

on 13 February 2015

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Does Tourism Affect The Environment Of Box Hill?
Box Hill
This project investigates the impact of visitors on the vegetation and environment of Box Hill, Surrey, UK.

We conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a Trampling Investigation in order to examine the impact of tourism at four different test locations.
Box Hill
Nutrient rich
Nutrient poor
Box Hill-TQ174520-Grid reference

Improved areas of grassland have five species of plant per metre squared, but unimproved areas of grassland have 40-50 species per metre squared.

Beautiful and rare species such as orchids, wild flowers and wild herbs are present on Box Hill.

Box Hill got its name from the Box tree that grows there. Box Hill has 40% of the UK's Box trees.

We chose six criteria for environmental damage - litter, dog fouling, noise, air quality, vandalism and space. We rated each on a scale of 0-5 (5 signifying maximum damage).

Trampling investigation:
We placed down our quadrat and looked inside each square, taking note of how many different plants there were inside each one, the height of the tallest plant and the soil depth in five chosen squares.

(We were unable to conduct an infiltration test because the Natinal Trust have banned it).
My Hypothesis
I expected the Viewpoint to have been most affected my tourism because I would expect its specatuclar views to attract large numbers of tourists.

Trampling investigation:
I believe that the further away I move from the path, the deeper the soil willl become and the taller the plants will be.

Soil pin
Distance along transect (m)
Distance along transect (m)
Max. Plant Height
Soil Depth
Test Limitations
Rain-It stopped us from conducting the infiltration experiment.
Time-The evening and the morning would be different.
Day- A day in July 2009 would be different to a day in December 2014.
My hypothesis was wrong because I thought the view point would have the most polluted as so many people would go to see the lovely view. I was wrong and that was the second most polluted area to the visitor's centre. This experiment was not quite fair because it was subjective and it was not scientific, it was my own opinion. Unfortunately, it was pouring with rain and I did not get to experience the wonderful views properly. I would love to go back soon, but this time when the weather forecast is warm & sunny! My results would have been better if they had not just been my own opinion.
Burford Spur Visitors centre Viewpoint Lodge Hill
The four test locations for the Box Hill EIA
As I moved further away from the path the soil gradually became deeper.

I think this is the result of erosion due to humans straying from the pathway.
Box Bug Purseweb Spider Black Ash Slug
Box Hill EIA
The broad leaf and fine leaf grasses were the most common because they are toughened by weather and humans. The moss is the least common because it is the opposite; very delicate.
Results of the Box Hill


The results of the EIA indicated that the Visitor Centre was the location most affected by tourism and pollution, based on the six chosen criteria.

This is likely to be because people go there to eat and drink, thus raising the risk of litter and noise. In fact, we might expect the Visitor Centre to have scored even higher for noise pollution had it not been raining.

However, the Viewpoint was a close second, because it had a nearby road which contributed to high scores for noise, air quality and vandalism

The Lodge Hill location was the least affected as it is more remote and further away from the road.
Results of the Box Hill Trampling Investigation (i)

As we moved further away from the path, the height of the plants grew gradually higher but as soon as we reached the six-metre stage, the plants grew smaller and smaller.

I think this is because there was a tall tree overshadowing the other plants from the 7th metre to the 10th metre.
The 2012 Olympics
Box Hill held the men's and women's cycling road races in the London 2012 Olympics.

This attracted two million more people than usual to watch or complete the route after the race was finished.
For trampling investigation
My hypothesis was half right because I said there would be more freely grown plants the further away we came from the path, but actually our results showed that at six metres along the transect, everything became lower. This test was a lot fairer than the EIA because it was actually scientific, not my own opinion.
Examples of rich and diverse
Thank you for watching!!!
The top of Box Hill is nutrient-rich (clay) and the base of the Hill is nutrient-poor (chalky).
Box Hill comprises over 1200 acres of land and it is owned and managed by the National Trust. It was named Box Hill because of the Box Tree that grows there.

Every year, over a million people visit Box Hill - but in 2012, three million people visited because of the London Olympics.

Visitors have been coming to Box Hill for over 200 years. People used to arrive by train and walk up Burford Spur but nowadays most people drive up the "Zig Zag" road.
Plants have adapted to cope with tough growing conditions - fast-draining soils and low nutrients.

Since conditions are so tough, no single plant species can dominate, so a diverse range of plants live together.

Area of oustanding natural beauty(AONB)
Equipment used for the trampling investigation
Results of the Trampling Investigation
Results of the Box Hill Trampling Investigation (ii)
The views of Box Hill
Why we tested them at these places; They are all completely different, providing us with a wide range of results.
Map Of Box Hill
Location of Box Hill in South England
Lodge Hill had less overall pollution which is why there were only three big sections. Viewpoint and visitors centre, however, were the opposite.
Full transcript