A diverse range of relevant human issues complimented by a dynamic coastline, packed into one compact, convenient location. Everywhere is within walking distance, including the chip shop!
We are definitely biased, but we're confident you won't find a better spot for fieldwork anywhere in the country.
Southwold is a town which has been shaped over centuries by the sea, bringing challenges and opportunities with it. Southwold's feeble geological mixture of sandstone and clay creates a fragile foundation for the town which is vulnerable to coastal erosion.
We know small details make all the difference to successful fieldtrips. Some fieldwork destinations require lots of walking and in some places, lots of driving between sites. Not in Southwold. Once you're here, park the coach or minibus and forget about it! Everything and everywhere within Southwold is only ever a 10-minute walk from anywhere else.
Southwold's urban landscape is protected by a £20 million valued concrete sea wall and is complimented by a combination of rock and wooden groynes on the Town beach.
South of the town on denes beach a soft engineering approach of managed sand dunes behind protects the dozen properties on Ferry Road. In stark contrast to this natural and popular landscape, North of the pier, the small farming community of Easton Bavents has a classic managed retreat policy and gained national fame after appearing on the BBC Coasts programme, when a local resident installed their own homemade defences!
Visitors to Southwold could be forgiven for thinking this is a successful and thriving coastal town and whilst economically many businesses and property prices in town are booming - Southwold faces an uncertain future.
This has become a community facing a plethora of urgent challenges and conflicts as a direct result of the relatively recent increase in second home ownership. Holiday rentals and non-permanent residences are now estimated to equate to at least 75% of the 1,350 properties.
Demographically Southwold's population is significantly distorted with only 8% of houses occupied by families and its no wonder, with the average house price here now inflated to over two and a half times the national average. Even beach huts can retail for over £250,000!
Some suggest that Southwold has become a gentrified 'resort' exclusively catering to an affluent visitor and neglecting the needs of the remaining local residents. The town's ability to sustain a viable and active community is arguably a bigger challenge to the future of Southwold than any risk presented by the sea.
The diversity of Southwold's geography makes the town a perfect location for NEA's. We work with hundreds of students each year and introduce them to the town's human and physical landscape whilst demonstrating a wide range of methods to enable them to develop unique independent investigations.
We're also able to offer both physical and human investigations for GCSE, IB and KS3 cohorts, tailoring all courses to specific exam board criteria.
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