Year One Geographers Discover South Wales

As part of their studies on Changing Places, Year One Geographers recently visited South Wales to look at Industrial Change.

Students visited the Big Pit at Blaenavon World Heritage Site, a former working coal mine for over 100 years which was sunk in 1860 and closed in 1980. Today, the pit is the site of the Big Pit National Coal Museum, opened in 1983.

Following a 300ft descent into the old colliery, students were given a personal tour around the mine by a former coalminer, creating an impression of what working life would have been like for the hundreds of miners who had previously worked in the difficult conditions.

On the trip, students also learnt about how deindustrialisation has affected the nearby valley town of Ebbw Vale, another aspect of the Changing Places study. To complete the trip, the group visited central Cardiff, exploring the changes in retail provision within the city.

“It was great to see the students really engaging in all the activities at the stops on the trip.” said Course Team Leader Thomas Seale. “The South Wales Trip gives our Year One Geography Students the opportunity to look at a wide range of Human Geography Landscapes and put the theory into practice in helping them to understanding the Changing Place Module we study.”

Students Ella Pywell and Kit Thomas-Franklin said: “The trip was exciting as we were able to see coal mining in reality, which helped to link to what we had been studying in College.

It was a great experience to complete work outside the usual classroom setting and make new friends. Personally for us the best part of the trip was visiting the ‘Big Pit’ and going down the coal mine as we got to experience the conditions that workers would have been under.”

You can learn more about the College’s A-level Geography programme here: https://www.cirencester.ac.uk/cco/course_view.php?course=408

For more information on this story please contact mara.west@cirencester.ac.uk