360° of sky and sea

It’s a great tradition to march a group of students half way along Hurst Spit, come rain or shine. The experience of the wind in your face and trudging through shingle is a memorable one. So much so that the concept of a “depositional feature” or “longshore drift” will hopefully wedge in between those physical memories somewhere. I took the photo above on one such windy day, and if it seems odd, it’s because I used a THETA 360° camera to capture left, right, up, down and behind me.

It’s even more challenging, in this windy environment, to attempt any kind of field sketch. We normally ask students to sketch a 360 bird’s eye view or map so they can contrast the stark and empty English channel, against the sheltered saltmarsh, farmland and moorings. So, “Great! Lets try out this 360 camera”, I thought. You can scan and zoom around the results here:https://theta360.com/s/lp8E9otHW8eVlR2MXHbruvS1A

keyhaven-at-low-tide-looking-towards-hurst-castle1553It definitely warrants another trip at low tide to reveal the saltmarsh and mudflats, and in hopefully less windy and bright conditions, but the potential is great.

  • Show students the site on a virtual “pre visit” and ask them to risk assess
  • Ask students who can’t visit to “put themselves in the picture” and imagine how the environment feels there, what activities tourists might do there, is it worth visiting?
  • After a visit plagued by bad weather, allow students to complete and annotate sketches on drier paper.
  • After a visit, revisit where you have been and share memories of the physical conditions
  • How many opposites and antonyms can you generate to describe the windward and lee sides.
  • Use a map and the photo to identify features and identify north, south, east and west in the photo.

Please add your comments below if you can think of any more ideas!yellow-horned-poppy-at-hurst-2339

360° photos work best where there is no divider in the landscape, such as this one at the mouth of the Lymington River https://theta360.com/s/fOofm63XUlRtJvKg00VQBI8WG but there are plenty of places in the New Forest where we can use them. Look out here for more when I next get a chance to borrow the camera!

P.S. I also discovered, this great link to a live camera stream from the top of Hurst Castle, looking back along the spit every day. This also has weather data and a timelaspe over the course of a month or a year. http://www.vision-link.co.uk/hurst_castle.php  So if you don’t fancy braving the elements yourself, take a look from the warm comfort of your interactive whiteboard!

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