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My Box Hill Geography
Transcript of My Box Hill Geography
Fauna and Flora
Aim, Hypothesis and Geology
When we went to Box Hill it was a very wet, windy and cold day. If we were to go on a warm summer's day, our results would be completely different. More people would be there if the weather was more suitable for going outdoors, we went in school time, and most people were at school. All of these
factors effected our results.
Monday, 6th October, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
The History of Box Hill
My Box Hill Geography Project - What Effect Does Tourism Have On Box Hill?
Box Hill is situated in Surrey, and is approximately 30 kilometres South-West of London.
Below shows the area that we studied:
The highlighted area to the left is Surrey
Our aim is to investigate the impact of visitors on the vegetation and environment, the different types of species, the maximum plant height, the soil depth and where the different types of species are located at Box Hill.
My hypothesis was that out of the four locations around Box Hill, (Lodge Hill, Burford Spur, View Point, Visitor Centre) the Visitor's Centre would be the most impacted. I think this beacuse the Visitor's Centre sells food with wrappers, so there could potentially be more litter. Also, as the Visitor's Centre is right next to the road and a car park, so there could potentially be more noise and air pollution. I think that the further away that you went from the path the more species there would be. Also, more plants would thrive and grow taller away from the eroded path.
Box Hill has a thick layer of nutrient clay, which enables multiple species of plants to grow there.
There is also, under the nutritious clay, a thick layer of nutrient poor chalk. This means that only certain types of plants can grow there, which is why Box Hill has some unique species.
By Sam Rawlins - Yardley Court/Tonbridge School
Box Hill has some special creatures which are unique, and can only be found in Box Hill, such as...
The Ash Black Slug, world's biggest slug, 30 cm, unique to Box hill
The UK's only tarantula- The Purseweb Spider
The Box Hill Bug, now known as the Box Bug as it was found out of Box Hill, in France
Forty different plant species can grow in just one square metre at Box Hill. These include beautiful and rare species such as orchids, wild flowers and wild herbs
Equipment and Methods
0.25m x 0.25m Quadrat
Due to the National Trust prohibiting Infiltration as it ruins the soil, we unfortunately were not able to perform this experiment.
For this experiment, we laid out a 10m tape measure across Burford Spur. We then laid the quadrat down at 1m and measured how many different types of species of grass, flowers, and if there was bare ground at all.
We then repeated this at 2m, 3m... until the whole 10m area was recorded down.
Environmental Impact Study:
We carried this experiment out at four different places: Lodge Hill, the Viewpoint, the Visitor's Centre and Burford Spur. At each 'site', we looked around for six main fators: Litter, Dog Fouling, Noise, Air Quality, Vandalism and Space. For each category, we rated each one on a scale of 0-4, 0 being really good and 4 being really bad.
What we could do to ensure that our results were accurate, and that it was a fair test would to come back when it is in the holidays, or the when weather is better. The results that we obtained may be accurate for the day, but we would need to come back on a warm day in the holidays to contrast with our results.
There is a general pattern for the first five metres as I expected - there were more types of species further away from the path. But as we moved further away from the path, with the exception of the seventh metre, there were fewer species than nearer the path.
There is a rough line as we moved further away from the path. With the exception of the third and seventh metre, the general pattern is that the further away form the path you are, the more species you will find. This is because on and near the path is where the ground has been eroded more, and it is not as good a place for plants to thrive as that of further from the path.
These results are similar to the Maximum Plant Height and Total Number of Species. As I expected, the more species were present further away from the path for the first four metres or so (down to erosion and malnourishment). But for the 'mid-range' of where we took our measurements, there was a slight decline in the number of species.
This graph matches my hypothesis - I though that on the path, where everyone has been walking and trampling the soil the depth would be shallower. This is due to the soil and earth being compressed, meaning that it takes a lot more pressure to push the soil pin in. Also, erosion might have effected the soil depth as well.
This graph shows that the Visitor's Centre by far was the most effected by tourists, as it is where people tend to meet, it sells food - so more litter. Also, as it is next to a road, the noise pollution is higher and the fumes from the vehicles effects the air quality.
Sadly, we were meant to be doing an Infiltration Test, but the National Trust, from around the start of 2014, have prohibited this. This is because when you push the soil pin into the ground, and you take it out again, it takes a big lump of soil out of the ground with it. This will eventually ruin Box Hill, and with it the outstanding natural beauty.
Box Hill is a National Trust-owned site of outstanding natural beauty and wildlife. It was handed over to the National Trust by Leopold Salmons in 1914, as this year marks the centurion of the Natural Trust owning Box Hill.
Box Hill has been a popular for around 200 years, and the modes of transport that the people take have changed over 200 years. People used to take the bus or train, and walk up the hill. Today people can take their cars to the top of Box Hill. This is one of the factors that I will be talking about.
Box Hill was named after a very special bush/tree that grows there - the Box Tree. this is special, as Box Hill's latitude is the most northern recorded where the Box Tree naturally grows. 40% of the UK's Box Trees grow in Box Hill.
Box Hill has about 1 million visitors each year, and during the 2012 Olympics, it went up to 3 million! I will be discussing how factors like these have an effect on 'The Impact of Visitors and Tourism on the Vegetation of Box Hill'.
Recently, the National Trust have done a study that shows that you only walk about 400 metres when you visit Box Hill. This is because there are more roads to the top of the hill. In Victorian times you would walk three times that.
I think that our trip to Box Hill was successful as we collected the data and information that we intended to, even though it was slightly difficult due to the weather.
In my hypothesis I predicted that, in general, the plants would be able to thrive further away from the path. This would have been down to two main reasons; the first down to erosion wearing away the nutrients and soil on and around the path, and the second reason being that where the tourists have trampled the soil, it has been compressed resulting in unsuitable conditions for the growth of healthy plants.
However, there was not a clear trend, as after the sixth or seventh metre along the transect the trend broke. There was a steady incline, and then a reduction, i.e. there were fewer plant species and the plant height dropped. After this, the original trend took up again. This may have been because there was a new path being formed next to the original one.
In my Environmental Impact study, I found out that the Visitor's Centre was the most impacted by tourism, then the Viewpoint closely followed by Lodge Hill, and with a score of only 1, Burford Spur. This is because the Visitor's Centre is a tourist magnet with the services and the road right next to it. The Visitor's Centre also sells food and items with wrapping etc., so there was bound to be some litter there. The Viewpoint has a road close by and is a nice 'picnic spot', so there was potentially some litter there. Lodge Hill is quite far away from the road, so is was obviously not going to be effected by noise and air pollution as much. For the category 'Litter' it only scored 1. There are no shops or anything that sells products with litter nearby, so it was not that effected by litter. Where 'Lodge Hill' was let down was 'Vandalism'. There were quite a few stones missing from the Lodge, and it appeared vandalised. It could have been human vandalism, or it could have been us mistaking natural erosion as vandalism.
Burford Spur won with a score of one. It was let down by 'Dog Fouling' as it is a popular dog walking location, and where there's dogs, there's bound to be dog fouling. Otherwise, Burford Spur is a location without a shop in a long way, so the litter is reduced to almost none (although my results do not show any litter, other people scored burford Spur for litter, so I am assuming that there was some litter, its just that we didn't see it). Also, as there isn't a road for quite a while people don't like carrying their picnic lunches up infested with litter. Because it is not close to a road, it scored nothing for 'Air pollution' and 'Noise Pollution'.
The scores that we rated the three different places are entirely what we could see on the day. There is every chance that there could have been human error involved when recording the results.
There were some limitations when we went to Box Hill. For a start, we could barely record our results because of the cold and heavy rain. We also only obtained results from a rainy day - the soil could have been deeper another day, more people would have been out in the sun, and therefore resulting in more litter, dog fouling etc.. We also went out on a school day, and most people tend to go out to (for example) places like Box Hill on the weekend. Maybe we should go when the circumstances are completely reversed - we should go on a warm, summer's day on a weekend or in the holiday when more people are out and about.
Even though we had to work arduously through the pouring rain, I enjoyed my day at Box Hill, and I also think that we obtained fair and accurate results.
1.Unique orchid to Box Hill
2.Box Hill Bug
3.Ash Black Slug
1. View Point
2. Lodge Hill
3. Burford Spur
4. Visitor's Centre
In both graphs, there is a link at the seventh metre from the path: there were most species at the seventh metre, but the maximum plant height was the lowest.