Geography Field Studies

Connecting students to the outdoors for an embedded learning experience

We have been providing tailor made geography and environmental fieldwork in North Devon since 2006. Our experienced and enthusiastic staff can design and deliver your programme, providing full tuition at all levels from Key Stage to A Level. Passionate about the outdoors, we ensure your students benefit from an exceptional outdoor learning experience that meets your educational needs.

Situated in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and inside the internationally recognised UNESCO Biosphere of Braunton Burrows, Skern Lodge is ideally located for field studies. We are surrounded by a range of varied and biodiverse sites which each present unrivalled resources rich with opportunities for study.

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Your course can be built around fantastic fieldwork locations:

North Devon Towns & Villages

From seaside towns to fishing villages to the high street, North Devon has a charming collection of towns and villages nestled in the hills, valleys and even teetering on the sea cliffs. Students can experience the communities at Clovelly, regeneration at Bideford and Barnstaple, and tourism at Westward Ho!.

Taw & Torridge Estuary

This extensive estuary is a large, flat area which reveals salty mudflats and sandbanks at low tide. Together with the saltmarsh, these habitats are intriguing to observe. Field Studies students can experience the river’s characteristics and processes first-hand whilst kayaking down these beautiful waterways.

Pebble Ridge, Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! is known for its golden sand and the unique Pebble Ridge; a natural sea defence protecting the Northam Burrows. This large depositional landform consists of thousands of sandstone pebbles, some as big as rugby balls. Where it meets the estuary the pebble ridge forms a coastal spit, formed over hundreds of years from coastal processes such as longshore drift and sediment deposition.

Northam Burrows

Northam Burrows forms an integral part of North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and also sits within an area of outstanding natural beauty. The area is home to an abundance of wildlife and is made up of grassy coastal plains with salt marshes, sand dunes, grasslands and the Country Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Brownsham Woods

Braunton Burrows

The Burrows is the largest sand dune system in the UK. The area is at the heart of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) it is a UNESCO designated Biosphere reserve. Known for its rich diversity of plant and animal life, Braunton Burrows hosts an impressive 470 species of flowering plant and this includes the internationally rare flora and fauna. Studies can focus on the theory of sand dune succession; looking at both biotic and abiotic factors and how they may affect each other.

Hartland Heritage Coast

This long rugged coastline boasts spectacular views, and wherever you look there are miles of jagged cliffs, secluded beaches and marine wildlife. The Hartland Heritage coast offers ample opportunity to be at one with nature and explore a wild and diverse landscape. During fieldwork activity students can observe the landscape’s significant erosion, geological features and coastal landforms including arches, caves, headlands and bays.

Geography in Action

All field studies trips can also be combined with our adventurous outdoor activities programmes to enhance your residential experience, developing both students’ educational needs, personal and social development.

At Hartland or Westward Ho! students can experience coastal traversing, explore rock pools, and scramble the landscape all whilst learning about habitat zonation and coastal life adaptations. Groups can also try out a field sketch or two.

Examples include:

Students can learn about river features and characteristics as they kayak down the River Torridge or discover how long shore drift works whilst surfing at Westward Ho! Beach.

Looking for an inspiring trip?

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Our Facilities

A Our 22 acre site is perched on the edge of the North Devon coast near Appledore. Skern Lodge is a warm, clean and comfortable Centre with stunning sea views. Separate buildings accommodate different groups and ages, each with their own meeting and social areas.

About the centre