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Saturday, 9 February 2013

Field studies

Nettlecombe Court  is near Exmoor in Devon and run by the Field Studies Council. Years ago when in the VIth form we were encouraged to go on fieldwork at one of their centres. The year I went with some of the other geographers it was to Nettlecombe Court. 
How come I suddenly thought about it seeing as it has lain at the back of my mind all this time? 
Three reasons, firstly last weekend C told me she was taking her VI th form and some other pupils to one of their places in Wales, secondly, I did a search for the FSC and saw Nettlecombe Court on their map and thirdly I have begun an unusual and mould-breaking course with the OU. 
Off and on over the years I have done fieldwork in various places. Vth form it was studies in the local area, VI th form Nettlecombe Court, college Lyme Regis (Omitting my work / career). 
OU studies - Durham and Herriot Watt universities
OUGS Open University Geological Society field study - Tees Valley, Falmouth and the Lizard peninsula, Symposium and fieldwork Poole, Dorset

The latest OU course is virtual fieldwork! 
For various reasons, mostly political, universities are having difficult times. The creative idea from the OU is to use multi-media to work on-line and perform fieldwork tasks.

C has gone with her charges to Dale Fort. 

Checking out the Nettlecombe Court page it seems similar to when I was there many years ago. The dorms still have bunk beds! The dining room still has refectory tables and the classrooms haven't changed that much.
But, today there is a bar. In yesteryear we snook scrumpie into the dorm, the local pub was too far to walk and out of bounds.

College days - Lyme Regis we stayed in an hotel and as all were over 18 it was legal to drink in the bar. First 'fatal' mistake made by the tutors was to have the day's debrief in the bar. It turned out to be historical geography with a trip to Maiden Castle and numerous barrows, long, round and bank. We did go to Chesil Beach and I remember one of the lads 'falling in' and spending the day rather wet. Then there was the day spent in Dorchester museum looking at archaeology. 

I posted on the tutor discussion page to tell folk about OUGS. Hoping some of my fellow students will take advantage of the fieldwork events run by OUGS.

2 comments:

Joy said...

Very interesting.
How do you feel about virtual field work? Do you think it can offer the same experiences as the 'real' thing?
J x

joanygee said...

Nothing can replace the real thing. I hope it will augment rather than replace traditional fieldwork. Jx