Published on: Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Our Fourth Form geographers went on a field trip to Exeter to collect data for their GCSE studies. 73 pupils visited three sites (in the inner city, suburbs and rural-urban fringe), looking at how the environmental quality of these residential areas changed. 

They used Survey123 on their mobile phones to collect data on housing quality and traffic volume and competed to draw the best field sketches of the urban environments. In Exeter’s city centre, they saw regeneration at Princesshay and the bus station, juxtaposed to the Roman city wall. 

They could also view Luke Jerram’s Earth installation ‘Gaia’ suspended in the beautiful Exeter Cathedral. 

Below are a few pupil reports from this trip:
Samuel D - “We started in Rydon lane, which we called Site C. It was a more economically developed residential area on the rural-urban fringe of Exeter. We surveyed the area using Survey123 and asked various residents about the area and what they thought about it. Most residents around there were elderly. After this, we travelled to Wonford (Site B), which was a council estate in the suburbs and repeated what we did in Site C. 

“Then we travelled to Triangle District (Site A), which was the inner city and again repeated what we did, looking at environmental quality, traffic and green open space. We concluded that the quality of life improves as you go from the middle of the city to the outer edge.”

Darcie C - “We started in the rural-urban fringe, where we took information on Survey123 about the different qualities in the area. We also did sketches of the housing found there. We then moved to the inner suburbs, where the housing around us changed from detached to semi-detached. We took the same surveys and sketched the area. The main changes were the quality of the housing, the area and the traffic. 

“Finally, we moved to the inner-city area closest to the CBD, and once again, we repeated the collection of data and drawings. The main changes were the housing, which had now become terraced. However, the traffic was quieter here than in the inner suburbs.”

Oliver G - “We started our field trip in the rural-urban fringe. The houses there were very nice, with some costing over one million pounds. The residents were usually elderly due to it being out of town. We then travelled to a council estate in the suburbs of Exeter. The residents we asked about the place said they didn’t enjoy living there as it is ‘an eyesore’. Some people there also weren’t English so we could not understand their explanation. Finally, we visited the inner city, where all the houses were terraced with no garden space or parking. We then had one and a half hours to look around Exeter on our own.”

Dominic L - “We concluded that people’s quality of life is worse the nearer they live to the city centre and tends to increase in quality the further we move from the inner city, since people tend to be richer in the rural-urban fringe and have more detached housing in a quieter neighbourhood. Because our fieldwork was completed in the middle of the week, 
there were not many people to interview. This causes the data to be more subjective than it should be.”

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