Students Boost A-Level Research With Visit to Longcliffe And Our Nature Reserve

After years of pandemic restrictions, the seven A-Level Environmental Science students were finally able to enhance their classroom work with a memorable field trip. They spent two days carrying out research at Longcliffe’s Brassington Moor Quarry and Hoe Grange Nature Reserve near Matlock.

The quarry produces limestone for over 100 products for a huge range of critical industries, including animal feeds, pet foods, glass and plasterboards. When visiting this site, the students looked at a range of wildlife habitats and also saw how the company monitors its sites for noise and dust. Students were able to learn about the working quarry’s operations from the safety of a viewing platform.

On their visit to Hoe Grange Nature Reserve, a five acre-former quarry also owned by Longcliffe, they were able to see a diverse range of habitats. In particular, the Reserve is home to a vast range of butterflies, some of which are very rare. Experts from Butterfly Conservation East Midlands were on hand to guide the students’ work, but wet weather put paid to a sighting of an endangered species, the Wall Brown butterfly.

Teacher Mrs Spencer, Head of Post 16 Sciences at Tupton Hall school, said: “Field work is such an integral part of the A-Level Environmental Science curriculum. Practical work allows students to consolidate scientific concepts and develop investigative skills. The Longcliffe team made the staff and students very welcome;

we are hugely appreciative of the experiences our students had and the opportunity to build on the cultural capital within the curriculum. We very much look forward to working together in the future.”

Paul Boustead, Managing Director of the Longcliffe Group added: “We were really pleased to be able to give these students the opportunity to carry out practical field research in two of our different sites. We understand the value of boosting classroom studies with outside trips, and following the restriction of the last two years, we were delighted to offer these students their first field experience.”