Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Case Study of Tourism in an LEDC - Kenya

Where is Kenya?

Kenya is located in East Africa, its capital city is Nairobi and it has a population of approximately 30 million people.

Why visit Kenya?
  • - it has an attractive climate (tropical) with sunshine all year round, hot and humid at the coast; temperate inland and dry in the NE (rainy season - April-June and Oct-Dec, heavy rainfall in the afternoon and early evening)

  • - Safari holidays are popular - e.g. in the Maasai Mara / Nakuru National Park - Kenya has spectacular wildlife - including the big 5 - Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Leopard and Buffalo

  • - Cultural experience - many tourists visit local tribes such as the Maasai to find out more about their lifestyle and traditions
  • - Coastal Holidays - SE of Kenya has fine sands and coral reefs with spectacular marine life - e.g. Mombassa

Why have numbers of tourists visiting Kenya increased?

  • - Kenya was one of the first LEDC countries to acheive mass tourism and in the 1970s and 1980s there was a rapid increase in the numbers of tourists, particularly following the release of the films Born Free and Out of Africa.

  • - Tourist numbers have also increased as larger aircraft in the 1980s brought prices of air travel down.

Advantages of Tourism to Kenya:
  • - Tourism encourages the building of new roads and better communications
  • - Jobs in tourism have helped develop people's business skills
  • - Tourism has created all year round jobs for Kenyans
  • - Tourism is Kenya's biggest earner of foreign exchange
  • -Tourism has stimulated farming, by creating a demand for local food from farmers
  • - National Parks have been created - encouraging people to protect the environment.
Disadvantages of Tourism for Kenya:
  • - there is leakage of income - with a lot of the money paid for holidays never actually reaching Kenya (travel companies and foreign owned hotels get it instead)

  • - Safari minibuses disturb animals - often getting too close (e.g. can be 30-40 buses around a single animal in the Maasai Mara), they also cause soil erosion as the wheels churn up the grass

  • - many Maasai are traditionally nomadic, but many have been forced out of the National Parks - losing their land and also losing their traditional lifestyles.

  • - Hot air balloons in parks disturb animals - by casting shadows and from the noise of the burners.

  • - Coastal Environments such as those in Mombassa have been damaged - e.g. destruction of coral reefs as tourists step on the coral and also take souvenirs.

  • - Drugs and crime has increased and AIDS is a major problem

Working towards sustainable tourism in Kenya - KIGO CONSERVANCY - An example of ECOTOURISM.

Kigio Conservancy was set up in 1997 on an old beef / dairy ranch with the aim of providing a wildlife sanctuary and a sustainable eco-tourism destination.

The accommodation at Kigio is in "cottages" built of mud, timber and thatch, using local and reclaimed materials and methods. The furniture is built from re-claimed timber from the ground and there is no electricity, oil lamps are instead used.

Kigio has a number of ecotourism activities it is involved in:
  • - partnerships with local communities - helping to fund and work on community projects
  • - provides links with local schools with schools in the UK, raising money for new classrooms and other projects (e.g. water tanks)
  • - partnerships with conservation organisations such as the Tusk Trust - which has involved setting up conservation centre for use by local schools and providing sustainable development education for local communities
  • - employees local people - e.g. guides and other workers
  • - conservation activities - e.g. looking after orphaned wildlife - e.g. 2003 relocation of giraffe into the area - including a baby giraffe from the Karen Blixen Giraffe Orphange in Nairobi.

A Case Study of Tourism in an MEDC - Menorca

Menorca is the second largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. It has a population of 67,000 and it has a total land area of 702km2.

Reasons why people visit Menorca:

  • - Mediterranean Climate - average temperature of 16oC with an average of 24oC in the summer months and little rainfall in the summer
  • - Menorca has a beautiul and varied landscape - Northern Menorca has an uneven and rugged coastline and in the south there are many white sandy beaches
  • - There are a wide range of watersports available (windsurfing; water skiing, scuba-diving etc.)
  • - Other outdoor activities include horse riding, cycling and potholing.
What are the advantages of tourism to Menorca?
  • - Job creation - tourism is the largest employer in Menorca
  • - tourism has had a multiplier effect and helps to support many different sectors of the economy e.g. jobs in farming (providing food for hotels and cafes), jobs in the craft industry (providing locally made souvenirs) and it is recognised that ice-cream is a major business
  • - tourism in Menorca has also raised awareness of the need to preserve the environment
What are the disadvantages of tourism to Menorca?
  • - as tourism is very much a seasonal industry - employment fluctuates at different times of the year
  • - the demands of the tourists have led to changes in the local way of life and there is also resentment of the number of villas and other properties being bought up as second homes by foreigners
  • - some of the earliest hotels which were built did not fit in with the local landscape and contrast dramatically against the beauty of the natural coastline
  • - the local culture has suffered some 'erosion' as changes have been made to meet the demands of tourists
Working towards more sustainable tourism in Menorca

In recognition of the importance of tourism to Menorca, as well as the importance of protecting the natural landscape which attracts tourists in the first place there have been increasing attempts in Menorca to make tourism more sustainable. These attempts include:
  • - the UN have declared the island a Biosphere Reserve with the aim of continuing to profit from tourism in Menorca whilst also protecting the island
  • - as part of the Biosphere - urban development has been controlled and beaches have been managed
  • - endangered species have been protected
  • - education programmes have been adopted in schools to raise environmental awareness
  • -tight planning controls have been implemented on the island restricting the growth of multi-storey hotels within 250km of the coastline to conserve the natural beauty of the landscape.
  • - government attempts to protect the impact on the local culture includes ensuring that all signage is in the traditional Menorqui language.
Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerriet/

Tourism - An Introduction

Tourism is a tertiary industry in which services are provided. The industry depends on people and governments having money to spend. Tourism has become one of the world's fastest growing industries, it is an important part of the economy in MEDCs and for many LEDCs, tourism has enabled rapid economic development.

Why has the tourism industry grown?
1. People have more disposable income
2. Falling prices and the development of budget airlines - e.g. Ryanair means that holidays are more affordable
3. People have more leisure time
4. Air travel has made it easier to travel to more distant places.

Although tourism brings many advantages to a country, it also brings disadvantages.

For the OCR A course you need to learn 2 case studies of tourism
1. Tourism in an LEDC - Kenya
2. Tourism in an MEDC - Menorca

We have also studied tourism in the Peak District National Park.

For each case study you need to learn:
1. Why do tourists visit the destination - human and physical attractions?
2. What are the positive and negative impacts of tourism?
3. What management techniques can be used to make tourism in the destination more sustainable?

Quarrying in a National Park

Quarrying is...
the extraction of rocks and other materials from the earths surface through blasting. Frequently quarried materials include sand, gravel, limestone etc.

Limestone Quarrying in the Peak District
The Peak District is a major area of limestone quarrying, including works at Hope Quarry and Wirksworth Quarry.

Hope Quarry is located close to Castleton. It began extraction in 1948, just before the area was designated a national park. 2 million tonnes of limestone are extracted each year, used to produce 10% of the UK's cement.

How is limestone quarried?
these quarries are often deep and dug on several levels
- controlled explosions are used to blast rock from the ground
- rock is then taken to a crusher where it is broken down into smaller pieces

What is limestone used for?
- aggregate or crushed rock
- building purposes
- cement production
- chemical production - fertiliser etc.
- iron and steel
- lime

Advantages of Quarrying

- creates job opportunities (10% of male employment in the Derbyshire Dales is in Quarrying and 300 people are employed at Hope Quarry).
- multiplier effect, created by creation of jobs, more money in the area and more services supported
- great demand for limestone for building purposes as well as other products such as cement .
- it is a raw material needed to support both the local and national economy
- roads improved to cope with the large lorries (benefits the local community)
- the quarry provides a source of money for the local council through taxes and rates

Disadvantages of Quarrying
- blasting for quarrying releases large amounts of dust (problem for asthma sufferers and pollutes water supplies)
- leaves an ugly scar in the land when abandoned (an eyesore)
- heavy lorries transporting limestone cause congestion on narrow roads and increase the likelihood of accidents
- wildlife and habitats are destroyed and lost
- noise pollution from the blasting disturbs both wildlife and local people
- heavy lorries cause more frequent costly repairs to roads to be made.

What can be done to reduce the problems associated with quarrying?
1. Earth Mounds - this are built around the quarry to reduce the impact of noise from blasting on the local area
2. Water sprays - these can be used to reduce the spread of dust from the quarry
3. Restrictions are put on the size of the quarry that is allowed
4. Blasting is only allowed during designated areas to minimise impact on locals
5. Quarry's are often screened off e.g. by trees etc.. to reduce visual impact
6. Restoration plans are often put in place following the decommissioning of a quarry - examples have included the development of wetland habitats, lakes and other conservation / recreation areas.


The Impact of Changing Energy Sources on a Local Community - Holmewood

CASE STUDY - Holmewood (NE Derbyshire)

With cheap imports the UK's coal industry has been in decline since the first half of the 20th century and in the 1990s many coal pits closed. This decline in the coal industry has had serious social and economic impacts on the mining communities which have relied on the coal industry for employment.

What was the problem in Holmewood?

  • - area grew up around the coal mine - community of miners houses
  • - closure of coal pit in 1970 - resulted in loss of 2299 jobs
  • - problem made worse as the rest of the coal industry in N Derbyshire continued to decline and in 1980s, a third of Holmewood's population was still reliant on coal mining for employment
  • - major unemployment problem (miners had very specialised skills and there were few other suitable jobs available).
Impact of the Closure:

1. Economic Impacts:
  • * 1987 - unemployment rate had reached 18% (much higher than national average of 10%)
  • * led to a spiral of decline (negative multiplier effect)
  • * with a low income, locals had less disposable income
  • * local businesses and shops experienced a loss of trade and many were forced to close

2. Social and Environmental Impacts:
  • * landscape littered with spoil heaps and derelict buildings associated with the coal industry
  • * poor quality housing (much lacking basic amenities) - locals, no money to spend on decorating / * regenerating houses (little disposable income due to unemployment)
  • * increase in crime and vandalism
  • * increased number of young leaving the area
  • * increase in stress-related illness.

Redeveloping the Area

A government Enterprise Zone (EZ) was set up in Holmewood in 1995 to regenerate the area by attracing new industry in. The government gave incentives such as cheap taxes and reduced rates resulting in the creation of an industrial estate and business park. The industrial estate was built at junction 29 of the M1. The redevelopment has been successful in creating new jobs, however employment levels in Holmewood remain below those for the rest of NE Derbyshire and many jobs were taken by those outside of Holmewood.


The Nuclear Debate

Nuclear power is an increasingly important source of energy, accounting for over 20% of the UK's energy. Nuclear power uses heat obtained from uranium or plutonium atoms which are split. Water or gases (such as carbon dioxide) are used as a cooling system around the core. Steam is produced by heat created from the reactor and this steam is used to turn the turbines which in turn are used to generate electricity.

Nuclear Power in the UK
There are now about 20 nuclear power stations in the UK, including Sizewell (nr Dunwich - Suffolk Coast).

Where are nuclear power stations located and why?
Nuclear power stations tend to be located close to the coast because...

  • - they are remote and away from centers of population (due to the possible dangers which can be associated with nuclear power
  • - large quantities of water are required for the cooling process
  • - uranium is imported
  • - power stations need deep foundations
Nuclear power is still a controversial energy source and it is important that you are able to debate the fors and against of nuclear power.

What are the advantages of Nuclear power?
  • - only a small amount of uranium is required to produce very large amounts of energy
  • - nuclear power is a clean energy source - no toxic gases are released
  • - uranium is cheap and easily available
  • - it is a cheaper energy source than fossil fuels
  • - large reserves of uranium are available
What are the disadvantages of Nuclear power?
  • - problems associated with disposing of nuclear waste (remains a danger for a long time - thousands of years)
  • - although uranium is cheap, the power stations themselves are expensive to build in the first place (Sizewell - 1.5 billion pounds)
  • - whilst staff are highly trained there is potential danger - e.g. the Chernobyl disaster (Ukraine, 1986)
  • - it is expensive and difficult to make old power stations safe
  • - nuclear power stations are restricted in possible locations (must be on firm, stable land - usually away from large centres of population for safety).


Case Study of a Distribution Industry - Argos Distribution Centre, Stafford

What needs to be considered in the location of a distribution centre?

The operating costs and customer service will be very important in influencing the location of a new distribution centre and the new location must be considered in relation to its suppliers (transport networks) and promixity to its customers location (this will determine response time)

(photo credit: D Bagshaw - www.geograph.org.uk/photo/83754 -CCL)

Therefore things to consider will be:

  • Access to Motorways
  • Adequacy of surrounding infrastructure for the transport of goods in and out
  • Transport costs
  • Availability of workers and labour costs
CASE STUDY: ARGOS DISTRIBUTION CENTRE Acton Gate, Stafford (Staffordshire, E Midlands)

Argos, the pioneer of catalogue retailing is one of the UK's leading retailers with a total of 474 stores in the UK / Republic Ireland and with annual sales of over £3 billion, serving over 41 million customers per year.

As well as outlet shops based on their catalogue, there is Argos Direct, the home shopping service (based on both telephone and web based orders).

For a company like Argos, the location of its distribution warehouses is essential. Argos has a number of distribution centres, but its Home Delivery service (Argos Direct) has its national operations centre at the Acton Gate Distribution warehouse, Stafford which was opened in 1998.

The map opposite shows the location of the distribution centre. Why then did Argos choose to locate at this site?
  • - Easy access to the motorway and main access roads (J13 of the M6 crossed by the A449) for the transport of goods and access for workers
  • - The central location of the site in the Midlands means that drivers can have easy access to Argos's regional bases and drive through the night without exceeding their permitted number of work hours.
  • - Large, flat greenfield site (the warehouse itself is 600,000ft2), providing plenty of room for storage (essential for a distribution industry dealing with large volumes of stock), as well as transport and office facilities
  • - A plentiful labour supply from nearby Stafford.
There were however some problems with the location:
The site itself, although having excellent accessibility was not ideal for expansion opportunities due to be constrained by the surrounding transport networks (A440, M6 and railway - see map)

Since the opening of the Acton Gate centre a new centre has now opened at Milton Keynes (Marsh Leys) and a third and largest centre opened in Darlington in 2005, further helping to reduce delivery distances.

Exam Practice - a typical question based on this case study might be:
Name and locate an example of a distribution industry which you have studied in the UK. Explain why the distribution industry is located there. (6 marks)

Case Study - Manufacturing Industry - The Whitbread Brewery

Traditionally all beer was brewed in local market towns on a small scale as it was bulky and expensive to move around. Today the trend is for large 'jumbo' breweries, but they are still market orientated (i.e. locate close to major markets).

(Photo credit at end of post)

What influences the choice of location for the brewing industry?

Raw materials required - malt; water; sugar; hops and yeast

  • The raw material needed in the largest quantity is water, but this is not significant to the location of the brewing industry as it is possible to source water either through the main system or by digging a borehole.
  • Hops and Malt are also easily available and for a reasonable price (transport costs are relatively low)
  • The costs of transporting the raw materials are therefore far less than the costs of transporting the beer to market
  • Therefore the brewing industry (market-orientated) tends to locate as close to the market as possible.


Where was the original location of the brewery?
  • originally opened in London in 1796
  • in 1960s it needed a vast brewery to supply the large market area - the urban location of London meant that there was no room for expansion and transport costs to the rest of the South and East were expensive.
Where did the Brewery locate to and why?

A new "jumbo" brewery was built at Leagrave in Luton in 1976 - this site was chosen because:
  • it was the optimum least cost site for the market
  • very close to London and major towns (e.g. Watford, Stevenage
  • well placed for the SE England and W Midlands market
  • industrial land was available in the area
  • plenty of water was available from the boreholes in the Chiltern Hills
  • Raw materials could be transported easily by road - e.g. the M1 and M10
  • 500 workers - skilled and local were available due to the closure of a small brewery at the time.
An example of an exam question based on this case study:

Name and locate an example of a manufacturing industry or factory which you have studied in the UK. Explain why the manufacturing industry is located there. (6 marks)

Photo Credit: B Harris-Roxas http://www.flickr.com/photos/34546323@N00/103834807 - Creative Commons)

The Green Revolution

In the 1960s, there was concern from the Indian government that the country would not be able to grow enough food to support the ever increasing population, so they put into place what was called the 'Green Revolution'. The idea of the 'Green Revolution' was to use technology to increase food output and as a result, over the last 50 years a series of changes have taken place in farming in India with the introduction of more 'Western-type' farming techniques.

What changes in farming in India did the Green Revolution bring about?


The problem: Efficient farming was difficult in India due to the many small farms (75% less than 3ha), which had become a product of the 'Laws of Divided Inheritance' (with farms being split between the sons of the farmer on his death), many of the poor didn't even own land, whereas large amounts of land were owned by a few rich land owners

The GR (Green Revolution) solution: Land Reform - aimed to increase farm size, setting a limit on the amount of land the more wealthy could own and redistributing surplus land to those without.


The problem: existing rice varities, grew rapidly but very tall so fell over easily and had to be grown quite far apart.

The GR solution: money provided by MEDCs such as the UK, USA etc. enabled new high yielding varities of rice to be developed - resulting in the development of a new rice plant known as IR8. This was shorter and stronger; could be planted much closer together, enabling more crop per area; had a shorter growing season and produced almost 3-4 times as much yield per hectare.


The problem: rice growing is labour intensive, with many jobs to be done requiring great human input

The GR solution: technology such as tractors and mechanised ploughs were introduced from MEDCs, replacing water buffalo and increasing efficiency, reducing the required human input.

Other changes bought about by the Green Revolution:

(i) - Irrigation schemes, including the introduction of electric / diesel pumps to help ensure a more steady and reliable source of water for the new IR8 HYVs and large scale projects such as the Narmada River Project (a series of dams built to help provide water for irrigation of the land)

(ii) As the introduction of tractors and other 'Western' style technology was not as successful as first hoped, Alternative, 'Appropriate Technology' has been introduced which is suited to the local people's wealth, skills and knowledge, for example low cost irrigation schemes etc.

What were the successes of the Green Revolution?

(i) Those that could afford the new Hybrid seeds, technology etc. saw an increase of 300% in crop yields;

(ii) The overall increase in food production helped to feed the ever increasing poulation with India becoming largely self-sufficient

(iii) Increased output overall meant that some subsistence farmers had a surplus which they were also able to sell, helping to raise living standards further. Money raised in this was was also reinvested into the farm, helping with the costs of machinery etc. or to buy more land

(iv) Areas in which the Green Revolution was successful became richer and more money was available for investment in schools, clinics, industry etc.

What were the failures of the Green Revolution? (see also this excellent BBC Article for specific examples)

(i) Unfortunately for many farmers the cost of machinery was too much and they simply couldn't afford it, as well as the high initial outlay, money was also required for fuel and repair.

(ii) Many very poor farmers, were tenant farmers, with little money to buy even the new seeds or fertiliser that was required.

(iii) New irrigation schemes were required to provide the reliable source of water required by the HYVs (High Yielding Varieties of rice). As well as being expensive, in some cases where inappropriate schemes were used salinisation became a problem. Dam construction in some areas also resulted in the flooding of some good farming land.

(iv) The large amounts of fertilisers and pesticides required by the HYVs also led to serious environmental problems as they entered water supplies

(v) In areas where there was an increase in mechanisation, there was an increase in unemployment with fewer people needed to do the jobs that were now done using tractors etc.

(vi) The consequent increase in unemployment in rural areas led to an increase in rural-urban migration with more people moving to the cities, causing urban problems

(vii) Many farmers who had tried to take on the new technologies became heavily in debt, leading to increase stress and in some instances suicide.

Key Terms:

  • Green Revolution - the introduction of changes in farming in India since the 1960s, using new technologies to increase farming output

  • HYVs - New 'High Yielding Varities' of rice designed to increase output

  • Appropriate Technology - that which is economically and environmentally sustainable meeting the needs of the people in relation to their wealth, skills and knowledge

Green Revolution (Wikipedia) - External Link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution

’s Green Revolution - External Link http://www.indiaonestop.com/Greenrevolution.htm
The limits of a Green Revolution (BBC Article) - External Link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/6496585.stm

– The Green Revolution - External Link http://countrystudies.us/india/104.htm
Green Revolution in India: A Case Study -External Link http://teacherweb.ftl.pinecrest.edu/SNYDERD/APHG/Unit%205/GreenRev.htm

Photo Credit: Jonathan Talbot, World Resources Institute. 2004. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wricontest/466492667/)

Case Study of Subsistence Farming - Rice Farming in India

Why Rice Farming in India?

1. CLIMATE - the Monsoon climate stays above 21oC with a long wet season, plenty of moisture available for growth, followed by dry, sunny weather which is ideal for ripening and the harvest

2. HUGE DEMAND - Rice is the staple food of 65% of the population of India and forms 90% of the total diet. India is indeed the world's second largest rice producer, producing 20% of the world's total)

3. FLAT LAND - ideal for paddy fields as it stops water draining away, allowing rice to grow in it

4. FERTILE SOILS - increases productivity and good crops are grown

5. WATER SUPPLY - plentiful water usually available due to the monsoon climate

6. LARGE LABOUR FORCE - rice farming is labour intensive and provides direct employment to about 70% of the working people in India where large numbers of workers are available.

What are the characteristics of the rice farms in India?

- many farms are very small (may only be one hectare - size of a football pitch)

- consequently rice farming is intensive, with large amounts of inputs compared to the size of the actual farm

- due to the small farm size and the poverty, often there is little no mechanisation and the farms are labour intensive (e.g. preparation of fields, planting, weeding etc.)

- the farmers are subsistence farmers - although they may sell what little surplus they might have and many poor farmers are only tenants as opposed to land owners.

Changes to the Rice Farming System:

- Natural disasters may severely affect farms - e.g. Typhoon Damage in October 1998 damaged yields
- Use of hybrid rice requires fertilisers and pesticides – expensive and can lead to health problems
- the characteristics of rice farms have also changed dramatically due to the Green Revolution

Changes in Farming in the UK

After World War II the government launched a campaign to increase agricultural production to try and solve the problems of food shortages and eliminate the need for rationing that had occured during the war. The aim was quite simply to make the UK self-sufficient. As part of the government drive to increase farm production and efficiency, in 1973 the UK joined the Common Market (now known as the European Union) and adopted what was known as the Common Agricultural Policy.

The aims of the Common Agricultural Policy:

1. Stabilise markets, creating a single market in which the free movement of agricultural products could take place
2. Increase self-sufficiency by restricting imports and giving preference to produce from the European Union.
3. increase average field and farm size as well as to increase profit for farmers
4. Increase agricultural production by guaranteed prices for farmers

3 main policies were used to achieve the aims above, these were:

1. Subsidies and Grants - money was given to support farmers by supplmenting their income, in the form of subsidies. Grants were also given to enable farmers to fund schemes to increase production
2. Tarrifs (Import Taxes) - import taxes were used to restrict imports and therefore stimulate the market for products from the EU, further encouraging increased production.
3. Guaranteed Prices - regardless of world market prices, CAP ensured that farmers were guaranteed a fixed price for what they produced

By the mid-1980s, the Common Agricultural Policy had been so successful that over-production had become a problem with large surpluses of produce resulting in 'grain mountains'. A number of changes were made to CAP to try and control the problem of over-production, these included:

1. QUOTAS - these involved setting amounts for how much milk or crops could be produced. If farms exceeded these amounts then they were fined.
2. SET-ASIDE - the European Union funded set-aside in order to reduce the problems of surplus. This is where farmers were paid not to farm some of their land which would for example be left fallow or used for non-agricultural purposes. In 1995, due to the EU shortage of vegetable oil, farmers were paid a high subsidy of £445 per hectare for planting oilseed rape.
3. DIVERSIFICATION - farmers were encouraged to move into other areas of business to make money, this included PYO (Pick Your Own), Farm Shops, Bed and Breakfast, Renting out land etc.

Overall in response to the Common Agricutural Policy and the drive to increase agricultural production since World War II, there have been a number of key changes in arable farming in East Anglia over the last 50 years:

Key changes in Farming in East Anglia since 1950:

1. AGRIBUSINESS - farming has become large scale and 'capital intensive', now often run by large companies as opposed to being owned by individual farmers. These agribusiness companies use hi-technology and agrochemicals to maximise yields and maximise profits

2. FIELD SIZE & MECHANISATION - hedgerows have been removed to increase field size to increase production and also to enable machinery such as tractors, combine harvesters etc. to be used more efficiently.

3. LAND RECLAMATION - land, previously not used for agricultural production has been reclaimed in order to provide more opportunities for agricultural land-use. This has involved clearing woodlands, draining marshlands and fertilising sandy soils.

4. IMPROVED BUILDINGS - specialised buildings are now constructed, including temperature controlled storage sheds for drying grain and keeping harvested crops at optimum temperatures

5. CHEMICALS - there has been an increasing use of fertilisers to support new hybrid seeds and to increase yields, by allowing crops to continually be grown in the same fields without the need for crop rotation. There has also been an increase in the use of pesticides and herbicides.

6. DIVERSIFICATION - increasingly farmland is being used for other purposes such as camping, Bed and Breakfast facilities etc.

Environmental Issues resulting from changes in farming:

As a result of the changes above, there has been an increasing environmental impact, including:

(i) - almost 50% of the UKs hedgerows were removed between 1945-1990 resulting in the removal of important habitats, resulting in a decline in farm bird populations such as the skylark and corn bunting. Removal of the hedgerows has also resulted in increased soil erosion as there are no longer hedgerows to act as windbreaks.

(ii) the increase in use of pesticides and herbicides has increased water pollution as they are washed from the fields in runoff and leaching. This has led to eutrophication of surrounding water courses - i.e. the over-enrichment of the water with nutrients which has led to an overall decrease in species diversity as weed and other vegetation has proliferated at the expense of other water life.

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - Wikipedia - External Link
Q&A Common Agricultural Policy - BBC - External Link
Hedgerow Removal - Wikipedia - External Link

Photo Credit: ajgendorf25 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajagendorf25/3181471308/

Case Study of Commercial Farming - Cereal Farming in East Anglia

COMMERCIAL FARMING IN EAST ANGLIA - Lynford Hall Farm (Ely, Cambridgeshire)

Why is the area around Lynford Hall Farm ideal for arable farming?

CLIMATE - average annaul rainfall is approx 650mm , summers are warm around 26oC, ideal for ripening, cold winters break up the soil and kill off bacteria.
LAND - the land is very flat in this area, ideal for machinery
SOILS - well drained and fertile boulder clay - this area of the UK is often known as the 'bread basket of the UK' with its rich soils which are glacial in origin
MARKET - the area is close to a densely populated region (just North of London), with a large market for selling crops, supplying many major supermarkets of the East and South East.
COMMUNICATIONS - there are major road links, including the A1 and M11 which enable the rapid transport of crops to market.

What are the characteristics of the farm?

- crops grown include wheat, potatoes and peas
- it is a large farm with 570 hectares in area (it is an example of extensive farming - with relatively few inputs compared to size of farm)
- high output per hectare
- highly mechanised - uses large and specialist machinery and specialist buildings (e.g. grain store, with drying faciltiy and environmental cold stores for potatoes), there are a small number of full time workers

- uses good quality, hybrid seeds which are used to maximise the yields produced
- there is a heavy use of fertilisers and pesticides
- the output is cash crops which are produced and sold for profit
- profits are invested back into the farm - the farm is run by the family partnership, Sears Bros Ltd.

Changes to the System (for more info follow this link):

- a reduced labour force
- forced to streamline operations to save money
- have become increasingly computerised


- There are a number of bungalows on the land some of which have been sold, others are rented
- The farm has looked at the option of wind energy and the possibility of situation wind turbines on the land - however this has been met with objections and has not been undertaken

Farming - An Introduction: The Farming System

An Introduction to Farming

Types of Farming:

Knowing your key terms is important, make sure you learn the following:

1. Commerical Farming - the growing of crops / rearing of aniamls to make a profit

2. Subsistence Farming - where there is just sufficient food producted to provide for the farmer's own family

3. Arable Farming - involves the growing of crops

4. Pastoral Farming - invovles the rearing of animals

5. Intensive Farming - where the farm size is small in comparison with the large amount of labour, and inputs of capital, fertilisers etc. which are required.

6. Extensive Farming - where the size of a farm is very large in comparison to the inputs of money, labour etc.. needed


A farm is a system in that it has INPUTS, PROCESSES and OUTPUTS

INPUTS - these are things that go into the farm and may be split into Physical Inputs (e.g. amount of rain, soil) and Human Inputs (e.g. labour, money etc.)
PROCESSES - these are things which take place on the farm in order to convert the inputs to outputs (e.g. sowing, weeding, harvesting etc.)
OUTPUTS - these are the products from the farm (i.e. wheat, barley, cattle)

Depending on the type of farming e.g. arable/ pastoral, commerical / subsisitence, the type and amount of inputs, processes and outputs will vary.

You need to make sure you are able to define and give examples of Inputs, Processes and Outputs in farming systems. You also need to be able to give the characteristics of two different types of farming system. Consequently, there are two Farming case studies you will need to learn:

1. Case Study of Commercial Farming in an MEDC - Arable Farming in E Anglia (Lynford Hall Farm - Cambridgeshire)

2. Case Study of Subsistence Farming in an LEDC - Rice Farming in India.

Distribution of Farming in the UK

The type of farming dominant in a particular area will depend on the climate, relief and soil type of an area. Within the UK different farming types are dominant in different areas (see the diagram below)

Farming as a System (BBC Bitesize) - external link

Photo Credit - Paul Keleher http://www.flickr.com/photos/pkeleher/2746648333/

Case Study of Rapid Economic Growth - South Korea (An NIC)


South Korea, lacks natural resources, however it has a plentiful, cheap and flexible workforce, this has led to it becoming an NIC (Newly Industrialised Country), with rapid industrialisation occuring over the last 50 years. You need to know what the CAUSES and CONSEQUENCES of this rapid industrial growth have been.

What were the CAUSES of South Korea's rapid economic growth?

- the government realised that agricultural production was not the route to economic growth and as a result encouraged foreign investment e.g. from the USA and themselves invested in large companies such as the state-owned Steel Works (Pohang Iron and Steel corporation)

- South Korean firms (such as Hyundai, Samsung and Daewoo) were also producted by high import taxes - this ensured that there was a sufficient market for goods, further stimulating production.

- the government also developed its own research and development of hi-tech goods

- large TNCs (e.g. Sony from Japan) were attracted by low wages, low taxes and they also bought know-how to South Korea

- a dedicated and substantial workforce was available, willing to work long hours

- firms were also attracted by a large consumer market of SE Asia (e.g. China)

What have the CONSEQUENCES of South Korea's rapid economic growth been?


(i) South Korea became very successful competing with MEDCs such as the UK

(ii) More jobs were available, helping to reduce unemployment and with the rise in income, there was more money available in the country for buying consumer goods and helping to increase standards of living

(iii) The increase in purchase of consumer goods (e.g. cars / electrical goods), created more demand for the goods and therefore led to a further increase in the market

(iv) More money was also available for leisure time (greater disposable income), resulting in a growth in the countries service sector

(v) More money was invested in the infrastructure, improving road networks and airports

(vi) The success of industrialisation and the development of South Korea's industries, led to South Korean TNCs (e.g. Samsung) investing in places such as the USA

(vii) South Korea became the leading producer of shipbuilding (due to low labour costs / modern ship building yards)

(viii) The South Korean car industry flourished, with companies such as Hyndai and Kia linking with industries in the USA / Japan and the companies have also invested in LEDC countries.



- unequal pay (women and immigrants paid only 50-75% the wages paid to men), sweat shop working conditions for some and an increase in child labour

- working very long hours (an average of 52 hours a week)

- increased rural-urban migration (the most innovative began moving away from the countryside into the nearby cities for work)


- noise, air and water pollution increased due to the rapid industrialisation

- the increase in factories led to smog over cities

- increased traffic volumes led to taxes on road use in the capital, Seoul

- in some areas which experienced an increase in population, services such as sewage treatment were not able to cope

- rapid growth resulted in some instances in poor workmanship and there were instances of deaths from collapsing buildings (e.g. the Sampoong Department Store in 1995 (507 deaths))


- when there was a downturn in World Trade in 1997, many S Korean banks faced huge debts / bankruptcy

- Economy of South Korea - External Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_South_Korea

Photo Credit: SOM http://www.flickr.com/photos/architectural-design/3058602909/

Practice Paper - Unit 4 - People and their Environment - OCR A

Here is the fourth and final set of Practice Past Paper activities - with a total of 10 questions drawn from past papers relating to Unit 4 of the OCR A Course - People and their Environment. The questions are based on the Quarrying and Mining, Tropical Rainforests, National Parks, Water Pollution, Acid Rain and Global Warming Topics. Remember - the suggested answers are just that - there are many ways the answer could be written - but the suggested answers show you the level of detail required and the sorts of points you need to include.

Click below to begin

REMEMBER - Level 3 answers require place specific detail so learn your case studies well

Practice Paper - Unit 3 - People and their Needs - OCR A

Here is the third of the Practice Past Paper activities - with a total of 13 questions drawn from past papers relating to Unit 3 of the OCR A Course - People and their Needs. The questions are based on the Quality of Life, Economic Activities and Energy Topics. Remember - the suggested answers are just that - there are many ways the answer could be written - but the suggested answers show you the level of detail required and the sorts of points you need to include.

Click below to begin

REMEMBER - Level 3 answers require place specific detail so learn your case studies well!

Practice Paper - Unit 2 People and Places to Live - OCR A

Here is the second of the Practice Past Paper activities - with a total of 11 questions drawn from past papers relating to Unit 2 of the OCR A Course - People and Places to Live. The questions are based on the Population and Settlement Topics. Remember - the suggested answers are just that - there are many ways the answer could be written - but the suggested answers show you the level of detail required and the sorts of points you need to include.

Click below to begin

REMEMBER - Level 3 answers require place specific detail so learn your case studies well!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Practice Paper - Unit 1 People and the Physical World - OCR A

As you enter the last few weeks of revision in the run up to the final exams you should be practicing answering past questions as well as learning the content you have been taught. Over the next couple of days, four interactive practice papers will appear here, one for each of the four units in the OCR A Geography GCSE course. Each paper has a number of past questions (with a focus on the 4 -6 mark questions) drawn from the appropriate unit from a selection of past papers. You can select a random question or tackle all those available. Once you have typed your answer you can print it and a sample answer will appear for you to check to see whether you have covered the key points.

Click below to begin

REMEMBER - Level 3 answers require place specific detail so learn your case studies well!