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Geography 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

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Page 1: Geography Notes

Geography 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?

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- 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


- 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


- National Parks have been created - encouraging people to protect the


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)

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- 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


- 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


- 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

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- 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


- 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?

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- Job creation - tourism is the largest employer in


- 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


- 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

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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.

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)

Therefore things to consider will be:

Access to Motorways

Adequacy of surrounding infrastructure for the transport of goods in and out

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Transport costs

Availability of workers and labour costs


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 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, 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.

Case Study - Manufacturing Industry - The Whitbread Brewery

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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


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.

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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

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

500 workers - skilled and local were available due to the closure of a small

brewery at the time.

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.

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What changes in farming in India did the Green Revolution bring about?1. LAND REFORM

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 brought 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 type of 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. e.g low cost irrigation schemes

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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?

(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


(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

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(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

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

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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


- the characteristics of rice farms have also changed dramatically due to the Green


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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


3. Guaranteed Prices - regardless of world market prices, CAP ensured that farmers

were guaranteed a fixed price for what they produced

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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

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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,


(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.

Case Study of Commercial Farming - Cereal Farming in East Anglia



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

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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

- 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

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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.

Page 19: Geography Notes

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.

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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)

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


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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

Page 22: Geography Notes

(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

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- 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

Coasts Revision

Check list of key concepts to revise:

1. Energy at the coast - types of waves and basic principles behind wave formation / factors affecting the strength of waves

2. Coastal Processes - erosion processes (you need to be able to describe the processes and how they work); transport processes (you must be able to talk through the process of longshore drift and it helps if you are able to draw an annotated diagram to show the process) and deposition

3. Coastal Erosion Landforms - you must be able to talk through both the features and formation of the following landforms: cliffs; wave-cut platforms; headlands and bays; caves, arches, stacks and stumps (in your description and explanation of formation always include some examples of named erosion processes that may be at work). You should also be able to draw annotated diagrams of the features to show how they form as well as knowing named examples of each.

4. Coastal Deposition Landforms - you must be able to talk through both the features and formation of the following landforms: beaches; spits; bars and tombolos. You should be able to draw annotated diagrams of the features to show how they form as well as knowing named examples of each.

5. Case Study of Coastal Erosion - learn (including detail - i.e. location, facts and figures) a case study of coastal erosion - either Dunwich or the Holderness Coast.

6. Coastal Defence - you need to be aware of the options for coastal defence - hard engineering, soft engineering or managed retreat. You should be able to describe coastal management techniques and be able to discuss their advantages and disadvantages. You should learn a named case study to back this up - for example either Aldeburgh or Overstrand.

Page 24: Geography Notes

Coastal Defence

When managing the coastline there are two main options:


- this is where man made coastal defence structures are used to reflect large amounts

of wave energy and hence protect the coastline.


- this is where beaches or naturally formed materials are used to control / re-direct

erosion processes.

You need to know examples of coastal management techniques and their advantages

and disadvantages:

Hard Engineering Techniques:

1. Re-Curved Sea Wall

- concrete wall which is curved on the underside to deflect the power of the waves

- these can be very expensive (up to £1-2 million per km) and the deflected waves can

scour material at the base of the wall causing them to become undermined

- these are however a very effective means of preventing erosion and they reflect rather

than absorb wave energy.

Page 25: Geography Notes

2. Rip Rap

- large boulders on the beach absorb wave energy and break

the power of the waves

- although movement of the boulders is expensive this can be a much cheaper method

than some other solutions

- the boulders can however be undermined easily by waves washing away sand and

shingle beneath them. They also can be quite ugly, changing the appearance of a


3. Groynes

- these structures (usually either wooden or steel) are designed to top longshore drift

and therefore act to build up and anchor beach material, protecting the base of cliffs.

- they are effective at reducing erosion in the area they are constructed in by causing

significant build up of beach material

- groynes may however starve areas further down the coast of material by stopping

longshore drift, resulting in an increase in erosion in these areas

4. Gabions

- these cages of boulders are built into cliff faces to protect the cliff from the force of the


- they are cheaper than sea walls and can be very effective where severe erosion is a


- they are however visually intrusive

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5. Revetments - these wooden structures break the force of

waves and beach material builds up behind them

- they are cheap and effective at breaking waves

- as well as being visually intrusive however they do need replacing more frequently

than most other defence methods.

Soft Engineering Techniques

Soft engineering includes beach replenishment in which

beach material is added to provide a "natural solution". Environmentally this is a

preferred option as it maintains the beauty of the landscape and avoids visual intrusion,

however it can be expensive to maintain as longshore drift continues to move beach

material down the coast and therefore regular replenishment is required.

Sand Dunes and salt marshes can also be encouraged to act as natural barriers to the


Case Study of Coastal Defence: Aldeburgh (Suffolk)

Aldeburgh is just south of Dunwich, here a large scale coastal defence scheme is in

place to control erosion. Aldeburgh is a busy town and tourism is very important to the

local economy in this area. It is therefore seen as cost effective to have a coastal

defence scheme in place to protect the economically valuable land.

Hard engineering is in place with a combination of sea wall, rip rap and groynes. There

is also an area of salt marsh to absorb some of the waves energy should it breach the

sea wall.

Page 27: Geography Notes

Another area severely affected by coastal erosion and where significant coastal

defences are in place is Overstrand on the North Norfolk Coast, pictures of the coastal

defences in this location can be seen here.

Further north, the small village of Dunwich is also severely affected by coastal erosion,

yet very little, apart from some small soft defences and a recent limited and

unsuccessful attempt at hard engineering is in place.

Wooden Revetments and Gabions:

Page 28: Geography Notes

Case Study of Coastal Erosion - Dunwich (Suffolk)

The Suffolk coastline of East Anglia has been eroding for 1000s of years and suffers

rapid and frequent change - the changes are due to the coastal processes of erosion

and deposition and the large scale movement of material down the coast by longshore


Dunwich is a very small village located on the east coast in Suffolk. Dunwich was once

a thriving port, similar in size to London, but storms, erosion and floods have almost

wiped out this once prosperous settlement, which once had a population of 4,000 as

well as a flourishing port. All that remains now are a few cottages - yet at one time there

were 6 churches and 3 chapels. Most of old Dunwich now lies on the sea floor.

It is predicted that with our changing climate, storm events will become more frequent

and in 1990, 7 metres of the coastline was lost over a few days in a storm that hit the

Dunwich Coast.

So why is Dunwich so affected by coastal erosion?

- the coastline at Dunwich is made up of soft rock (sands, gravels and clays), these are

easily eroded by the sea;

- the problem is made worse by the narrow beach which results in wave attack at the

base of the cliff;

- the cliff faces are also greatly affected by weathering processes;

Page 29: Geography Notes

Rates of erosion at Dunwich are now as great as one metre per year. Material that is

eroded from the Dunwich cliff line is moved down the coast by the process of longshore

drift, keeping the beach fairly narrow. The material is transported in a N-S movement

where it is deposited further south to form Orfed Ness Spit.

Although prone to severe coastal erosion, Dunwich has relatively little sea defence. An

area of marshland just beyond the car park has been protected from the sea by a long

shingle sea wall, but this has to be regularly rebuilt by bulldozers. Until recently there

has been no other coastal management and the natural creation of a new beach to

absorb wave energy has been seen as the most effective solution, due to the small size

of Dunwich it has not be seen as cost effective to spend millions on sea defence at this

location. However in February 2007, a new experimental beach stabilisation project

began, it has been designed to try and reduce the severe cliff failures. A series of sand

and shingle humps are to be created to stop the beach eroding and therefore help to

reduce cliff erosion.

Page 30: Geography Notes

Coastal Deposition Landforms: Features and Formation

Material that is transported by the waves along a coastline is eventually deposited

forming distinctive deposition features. There are four main deposition features that you

need to learn the formation of. These are:

1. Beaches

2. Spits

3. Bars

4. Tombolos

Beaches Beaches are the main feature of deposition found at the coast, these consist

of all the material (sand, shingle etc.) that has built up between the high and low tide

mark. There are number of different sources of beach material - the main source being

rivers, where fine muds and gravels are deposited at the river mouth. Other sources of

beach material include longshore drift (bringing material from elsewhere along the

coast); constructive waves (bringing material up the beach from the sea) and from cliff


As constructive waves build up beaches, they often form ridges in the beach known as

berms. The berm highest up the beach represents the extent to which the water has

reached during high tide.

Page 31: Geography Notes


Spits are long narrow ridges of sand and shingle which project from the coastline into

the sea.

The formation of a spit begins due to a change in the direction of a coastline - the main

source of material building up a spit is from longshore drift which brings material from

further down the coast.

Where there is a break in the coastline and a slight drop in energy, longshore drift will

deposit material at a faster rate than it can be removed and gradually a ridge is built up,

projecting outwards into the sea - this continues to grow by the process of longshore

drift and the deposition of material.

A change in prevailing wind direction often causes the end of spits to become hooked

(also known as a recurved lateral).

On the spit itself, sand dunes often form and vegetation colonises (for example

Blakeney Point - North Norfolk)

Water is trapped behind the spit, creating a low energy zone, as the water begins to

stagnate, mud and marshland begins to develop behind the spit;

Spits may continue to grow until deposition can no longer occur, for example due to

increased depth, or the spit begins to cross the mouth of a river and the water removes

the material faster than it can deposited - preventing further build up.

Examples of Spits

- Spurn Head - Holderness Coast

- Orford Ness - Suffolk

Page 32: Geography Notes


These form in the same way as a spit initially but bars are created where a spit grows

across a bay, joining two headlands. Behind the bar, a lagoon is created, where water

has been trapped and the lagoon may gradually be infilled as a salt marsh develops due

to it being a low energy zone, which encourages deposition.

Example of a Bar: Slapton Sands - Devon.

Page 33: Geography Notes


Tombolos are formed where a spit continues to grow outwards joining land to an

offshore island.

Example of a Tombolo: - Chesil Beach - which joins the South Dorset coast to the Isle

of Portland.


Page 34: Geography Notes


Remember - as well as being able to describe the formation of each feature of

coastal deposition, you should be able to give a named and located example e.g.

a spit - Spurn Head (Holderness Coast). You should also try and learn a labelled

diagram to show the formation of each feature.

- Beach - Dawlish Warren (Devon)

- Spit - Orford Ness (Suffolk) or Spurn Head (Holderness Coast)

- Bar - Slapton Sands (Devon)

- Tombolo - Chesil Beach (joining S Dorset Coast to Isle of Portland)

Key Terms Check

Spit - a ridge of sand and shingle projecting from the mainland into the sea

Bar - a ridge of sand and shingle which has joined two headlands, cutting off a bay

Tombolo - a ridge of sand and shingle joining the mainland to an island

Coastal Erosion Landforms - Features and Formation

Coastal Erosion Features

There are 3 main groups of coastal features which result from coastal erosion:

1. Headlands and Bays

2. Caves, Arches, Stacks and Sumps

3. Cliffs and Wave-cut platforms


Headlands are resistant outcrops of rock sticking out into the sea, whilst bays are indents in the coastline between two headlands.

So how do headlands form?

- Headlands form along discordant coastlines in which bands of soft and hard rock outcrop at right angles to the coastline.- Due to the presence of soft and hard rock, differential erosion occurs, with the soft, less resistant rock (e.g. shale), eroding quicker than the hard, resistant rock (e.g. chalk)- Where the erosion of the soft rock is rapid, bays are formed- Where there is more resistant rock, erosion is slower and the hard rock is left sticking out into the sea as a headland.- The exposed headland now becomes vulnerable to the force of destructive waves but shelters the adjacent bays from further erosion.

Page 35: Geography Notes

Named Examples of Headlands and Bays: (LEARN!)

The Dorset coast has excellent examples of Headlands and Bayse.g. Swanage Bay and the Foreland (a headland)


Once a headland has formed it is then exposed to the full force of destructive waves and it gradually begins to erode. you need to be able to describe the erosion of a headland and the features that form.

So how does a headland erode and caves, arches, stacks and stumps form?

- Firstly, the sea attacks the foot of the cliff and begins to erode areas of weakness such as joints and cracks, through processes of erosion such as hydraulic action, wave pounding, abrasion and solution;- Gradually these cracks get larger, developing into small caves;- Further erosion widens the cave and where the fault lines runs through the headland, two caves will eventually erode into the back of each other forming an arch, passing right through the headland.- A combination of wave attack at the base of the arch, and weathering of the roof of the arch (by frost, wind and rain), weakens the structure until eventually the roof of the arch collapses inwards leaving a stack, a stack is a column of rock which stands separate from the rest of the headland.- The stack will continue to erode, eventually collapsing to form a stump which will be covered by water at high tide.

Page 36: Geography Notes

Named Examples:

The Foreland (Dorset Coastline) is a great example of a headland which shows these features - there is a distinctive stack called Old Harry and a stump known as Old Harry's Wife.

A good example of a distinctive arch, also found on the Dorset Coast is Durdle Door.


Cliffs are steep rock faces along the coastline, they tend form along concordant coastlines with resistant rocks parallel to the coast.

So how do cliffs and wave-cut platforms form?

- The erosion of a cliff is greatest at its base where large waves break - here hydraulic action, scouring and wave pounding actively undercut the foot of the cliff forming an indent called a wave-cut notch whilst the cliff face is also affected by abrasion as rock fragments are hurled against the cliff by the breaking waves.- This undercutting continues and eventually the overhanging cliff collapses downwards - this process continues and the cliff gradually retreats and becomes steeper.- As the cliff retreats, a gently-sloping rocky platform is left at the base, this is known as a wave-cut platform which is exposed at low tide.

Page 37: Geography Notes

Named Examples:

Good examples of cliffs and wave-cut platforms can be found at Hunstanton (North Norfolk) and Flamborough Head (Yorkshire)


Page 38: Geography Notes


- Swanage Bay (Dorset Coast)- The Foreland (Headland) (Dorset Coast)- Old Harry (Stack) (Dorset Coast - off of the Foreland)- Old Harry's Wife (Stump) (Dorset Coast - off of the Foreland)- Durdle Door (South Dorset Coast)- Cliffs and Wave-cut platforms - Hunstanton (N Norfolk) and Flamborough Head (Yorkshire)

Page 39: Geography Notes

Coastal Processes: Erosion, Transport and Deposition

Remember, there are 3 main processes that cause a coastline to change:

1. Erosion

2. Transport

3. Deposition.

There are number of factors which affect each of these processes - we are going to

start by exploring erosion processes and the factors that can affect the amount of

erosion that may take place along a coastline.


Erosion Processes:

Erosion is the wearing away of rocks, at the coast there are 6 main types of erosion

processes in action

1. ABRASION (this is also known as corrasion) - this is where rock fragments are

hurled at cliffs by breaking waves, gradually scraping away at the cliff face;

2. HYDRAULIC ACTION - as waves break against the cliff face, the pressure of the

breaking wave can compress air in cracks. This compressed air gradually forces open

the crack in the rock - as this process continues, the rock becomes increasingly


3. SOLUTION (this is also known as corrosion) - this occurs where the salt water is

able to dissolve some of the chemicals in rocks - for example, limestone cliffs are

gradually weakened as the salt water dissolves the calcium carbonate in the limestone.

4. SCOURING - this occurs at the base of the cliff as the waves break and swirl around,

gradually removing loose rock.

5. ATTRITION - this is where rock fragments carried by the waves hit against each

other and gradually wear down to form sand and silt

6. WAVE POUNDING - the sheer force of waves hitting against the cliff face

These processes of erosion form a series of distinctive landforms at the coast.

Page 40: Geography Notes

Rates of Coastal ErosionSo what are the factors that determine how much erosion can take place at the coast?

1. The Resistance of the Rocks - e.g. limestone, chalk and granite are resistant rocks (often forming cliffs and headlands) and erode relatively slowly, whilst less resistant rocks such as clay are easily eroded.

2. The Strength of the waves - affected by the wind strength and duration and its fetch

3. The shape of the coastline (which is dependent on its geology) - on concordant coastlines, rocks are parallel to the wave front and therefore rates of erosion are similar along the coastline. On discordant coastlines, differential erosion may occur, where bands of hard and soft rock outcrop at right angles to the sea. Consequently headlands and bays form along discordant coastlines and whilst headlands remain exposed to the force of the waves, bays are sheltered.

Page 41: Geography Notes

COASTAL TRANSPORTThe second process operating at the coast is transport. Material eroded by the sea is carried within the water in a number of ways, minerals dissolved from rocks are carried in solution, whilst small rock fragments, light enough to be held within the water, float in suspension. The largest rock fragments which are too heavy to be picked up by the waves, are transported by the process of traction, this is where they roll along the bed when the waves pick up enough energy.

Page 42: Geography Notes

Finally, medium sized rock particles, which cannot be carried by the waves all the time, are moved by saltation. This is where during times of higher wave energy the particles are picked up and then dropped again as the wave looses its energy.

The main form of transport operating at the coast is that of LONGSHORE DRIFT.

Longshore drift is the process by which sand and pebbles are moved along a beach by the movement of the waves.

Page 43: Geography Notes


Material is moved up the beach by the swash at an angle which is controlled by the prevailing wind. The backwash then carries material back down the beach at right angles to the coastline under the influence of gravity. Gradually the material is moved along the coastline, its direction being controlled by the prevailing wind direction.

The final process operating at the coast is that of deposition - this is where material that is too heavy to be transported any more is left behind, building up the beach. Due to the importance of energy in transporting sand and shingle, it is the largest material that is deposited first. A number of distinctive features may form due to coastal deposition.

Key Terms Check:Erosion - the wearing away and removal of materialDeposition - the dropping of materialAbrasion - the wearing of rock due to rock fragments being hurled against cliffsAttrition - the breakdown of rocks as they hit against each otherHydraulic Action - the force of waves causing rocks to split apart as waves compress air in cracks in the rocksWave Pounding - sheer force of water hitting rocksSolution - where minerals in rocks are dissolved by the action of sea waterScouring - occurs where water and broken rock fragments swirl around at the base of cliffs gradually wearing rock away.Longshore Drift - the movement of material along a coastline

Page 44: Geography Notes

Coasts - Energy at the Coast The coast represents the metting point between the land and sea. Coasts are very

dynamic areas and they are constantly change. This change is due to 3 main processes

which operate at the coast, 1. Erosion; 2. Transport and 3. Deposition. These 3

processes are all driven by the amount of energy that is available at the coast. The main

agents of change at the coasts are waves. Waves are movements of energy throughout

the water, but where do waves get their energy from? The answer to this is wind.

As wind blows over the

surface of the sea, it creates friction. This frictional drag causes water particles to begin

to rotate and energy is transferred forward in the form of a wave. Whilst the water

moves forward, the water particles return to their original position. As a wave reaches

shallow water, friction between the sea bed and the base of the wave causes the wave

to begin to slow down and its shape becomes more eliptical. The top of the wave

however, unaffected by the friction, becomes steeper until it eventually breaks. When

the wave breaks, water washes up the beach, this is called the swash. The movement

of water backdown the beach is called the backwash.

It is the rate at which waves reach the coast which determine whether the main process

acting on the coastline is erosion or deposition. There are two main types of waves:


arrive at the coast at a rate of less than 8 waves per minute, they are low energy waves

and are small in height. They have a strong swash and a weak backwash. This means

that constructive waves tend to deposit material and build up a beach.

Page 45: Geography Notes


much higher energy and tend to arrive at the coast at a rate of more than 8 per minute.

They are much larger in height often having been caused by strong winds and a large

fetch. These high energy waves have a weak swash but a strong backwash, which

erode the beach but pulling sand and shingle down the beach as water returns to the


There are 3 main factors which will affect the strength of a wave and therefore whether

it is more likely to erode or build up the coastline:

(i) the strength and speed of the wind - the faster the wind, the more energy is

transferred and therefore the bigger the wave that is produced.

(ii) the duration of the wind - this is the length of time for which the wind has blown -

the longer the wind blows, the more energy is transferred to the wave

(iii) the fetch - this is the distance over which the wind has blown and therefore how far

the wave has travelled. The longer the fetch, the larger the wave is likely to be.

Key Term Check:

Swash - the movement of water and material up the beach (in direction of prevailing


Backwash - the movement of water and material back down the beach (straight back

down due to gravity

Constructive wave - low energy wave with greater swash than backwash - tends to build

up the beach

Destructive wave - high energy wave with greater backwash than swash - tends to

erode beach

Page 46: Geography Notes

The Interdependence of Settlements: Case Study - St Ives

You need to be aware of the interdependence of settlements within a hierarchy, with

reference to the sphere of influence of places and the types and order of services that

they provide. The map below shows the local area around St Ives which includes

surrounding towns, villages and hamlets. The sphere of influence of St Ives

incorporates many smaller villages including Somersham, Needingworth, Bluntisham,

Holywell, Fenstanton and Hemingford.

Settlement Hierarchies

Settlements within an area vary greatly in physical size, population and the number of

services that they provide. When studying settlements within an area we can look at

them in terms of a settlement hierarchy. A settlement hierarchy is when settlements

are put into an order based upon their size or the services that they provide for people

(see hierarchy diagram below). As you go up the hierarchy there is an increase in the

size of the settlement, population and number of services; the distance between these

settlement types also increases. The number of settlements of each type however

decreases as you move up the hierarchy.

Page 47: Geography Notes

Settlements in the hiearchy are interdependent as people will use a variety of services

found in different settlements. The area served by a particular settlement is known as its

sphere of influence. The size of this will be dependent not only on the type and

number of services offered by a town but also the size of the town and the ease of

access related to the available transport networks serving the area. Villages usually

provide few services, and those that exist are mainly low order services or sell low order

goods. Low order goods / services are those that are low in value / cost and are

used / required daily, for example milk / newsagents. Larger towns and services will

have a greater range of services, including both low order and high order goods and

services. High order goods and services are more expensive in nature and not required

so frequently. They are often comparison goods, such as furniture, electronic goods etc.

and people are usually prepared to travel further in order to get them. The distance that

people are prepared to travel to use a service or obtain a good is known as its range.

Services such as hypermarkets and goods such as furniture have a much greater range

than for example a newsagents and milk.

Page 48: Geography Notes

In order to be profitable, a shop or service will require a minimum number of potential

customers, this is known as its threshold population. Shops/services providing low

order goods or services usually need a much lower threshold population (as the goods /

services are required / used daily), whilst high order shops / services will require a much

greater number of potentail customers and thus have a higher threshold population.

Marks and Spencers for example may require a threshold population of 70,000 before

the store can be profitable.

The needs of local communities are often provided for by neighbourhood shopping

centres. These consist of a group of low order shops and services, e.g. a newsagents,

bakery, hairdressers etc. serving an area within a town, for example Kings Hedges, St

Ives. Out-of-town shopping centres which usually contain higher order shops,

including large chain and department stores have increased in number and size

significantly over the last 20 years or so and in doing so have had a negative on some

nearby town centres.

Key terms check:

Settlement Hierarchy - where settlements are put into order based upon their size or

services provided.

High Order Goods - usually high cost goods - bought now and again - e.g. furniture

Low Order Goods - usually low cost goods needed often - e.g. milk

Sphere of Influence - area served by a settlement

Neighbourhood Centre - a group of low order shops serving a community within a town

Range of a Good - maximum distance people are prepared to travel to obtain a service

Threshold - minimum number of people needed to ensure that demand is great enough

for a service to be offered

Page 49: Geography Notes

Second Homes - Social and Economic Impacts

Increasing disposable incomes have resulted in an increase in second home ownership.

Many of these homes are used for weekends or holidays in attractive rural areas. The

increase in second home ownership has however bought some ill feeling by locals who

have felt the impact of changes in villages caused by second homes. An increase in

second homes in an area can bring both benefits and problems.


- provides trade for local trades such as builders, plumbers etc.

- tourists

- existing home owners have seen an increase in the value of their homes

- older properties in need of repair have been restored

- tourists do bring in some money to the local area

Page 50: Geography Notes


- house prices increase due to competition between buyers of second homes causing

many youngsters to be outpriced from their own local area

- villages can become 'sleepy' as some houses remain empty for much of the year - this

has also resulted in the closure of some local shops and services due to a fall in


- a reduction in public transport services

- some gentrification / improvements carried out by second home owners are not in


- reduction in community spirit as some houses stay empty for long periods and people

are without neighbours

Key terms check:

Second Home - a home used only at certain times of the year - e.g. weekends / holiday


Counterurbanisation - Causes and Consequences

Urban to Rural Migration

Since the 1960s there has been a continuing trend of urban to rural migration, with

people leaving cities and moving into countryside areas, this process is known as


Page 51: Geography Notes

Causes and Consequences of Counterurbanisation

(i) Causes

For your GCSE you will need to understand what is meant by counterurbanisation and

you will need to be able to describe the causes and consequences of this process. So

why are more people moving from urban areas into the countryside? (the reverse trend

of what is happening in many LEDCs where rapid rural-urban migration has been taking

place since the 1950s/60s!). The reasons for the movement can be summarised as a

set of push and pull factors:

Push Factors (reasons for the movement away from cities)

- higher rates of congestion and pollution

- high land values making it harder for people to find affordable housing

- higher crime rates

Pull Factors (reasons for movements to the countryside)

- perceived better quality of life

- believed to be a safer and more pleasant environment for children to grow up in

- less pollution and more open space

- lower land-values and more affordable housing

- more businesses locating on greenfield sites to make the most of room for expansion

and the more pleasant environment.

Improvements in transports and technology have led to the increase in

counterurbanisation as it has become easier for people to commute to work or indeed

work remotely from home, using internet / fax / e-mail technology.

(ii) Consequences

The process of counterurbanisation has had a number of consequences and in

particular has resulted in the changing characteristics of many villages which have seen

an increase in population becoming more suburbanised in character. These

suburbanised villages have seen various changes as people have moved in from the

city. Many have lost some of their rural characteristics as new housing developments

have been built and in some instances business units have developed. Village shops

and local services often suffer as these settlements often become "dormitory villages",

where a large proportion of the population commute to work leaving a small daytime

population. Many commuters use large supermarkets on the edge of towns and the

Page 52: Geography Notes

lower demand for villages shops and services has forced many to close. There are also

social impacts, as once tight-knit communities begin to lose community spirit as more

and more people move in.

Key terms check:Counterurbanisation - the process of people from cities and towns into the countrysideSuburbanised Villages - villages growing in size and taking on more urban characteristics

Page 53: Geography Notes

Green Belts - controlling urban sprawl

To restrict development on greenfield sites (sites that have not previously been built on),

urban sprawl has been constrained by the creation of Green Belts. Green Belts were

created in 1947 as 'collars of land' around urban areas where development is severely

restricted to preserve the character of the environment.

Whilst green belts have successfully slowed urban sprawl, in some cases they may

protect land of little value, whilst development 'leap-frogs' the constraints of the green

belt and begins to grow on the higher quality land beyond it. Wedges of protected land,

as opposed to a surrounding 'collar' have been suggested as a way of allowing

controlled growth, whilst protecting high-quality land. Indeed the debate about the

future of greenbelts has increased and campaigners are trying to protect greenbelt


There are concerns in a number of areas, as further urban development threatens

the existing Green Belts. Countryside around both Stevenage and Cambridge is under

threat due to plans for the development of new homes, whilst other areas are under

threat from other types of development, including plans for a park and ride scheme on

the edge of Cambridge.

Page 54: Geography Notes

Case Study: Pressures on the Cambridge Green Belt

In the 1990s, increasing competition for land at the rural-urban fringe to create more

jobs and houses, put pressure on green belt areas to release more land.

Cambridge is a famous, historic city with many job opportunities available, easy access

to other places and pleasant surrounding countryside. It is protected from urban sprawl

by a green belt.

- increase in population have previously been dealt with by increased

suburbanisation of villages and the creation of new settlements, e.g. Bar Hill

and Cambourne, and the newly designated Northstowe (which begins

construction in 2008)

- over the next 15 years, 42,000 houses need to built in Cambridgeshire to

accommodate the increasing population - putting great pressure on the Green


- current Green Belt is designed to prevent the mergence of neighbouring

settlements, protect the countryside and maintain the character of the city of


- review of the Green Belt was carried out in 2001 to assess its present

success and areas which could be released for development in a sustainable


- the current proposal for development includes 8,000 homes on the edge of

Cambridge on land currently in the Green Belt

- other options still include, the creation of new settlements and the

development of nearby market towns

The key question for debate is whilst provision of new houses is putting pressure on land, should we build on Brownfield sites (areas previously built on which have been demolished) or Greenfield sites (area of countryside, previously never built on)

Why build on Brownfield Sites?- many areas have unoccupied houses which could be upgraded- brownfield sites already have utilities such as water and gas pipes- development in urban as opposed to rural areas can help reduce reliance on cars

Why build on Greenfield Sites?- cheaper to build on (don't have demolition costs) and lower land-values than in urban areas- generally perceived as better quality of life in the countryside

Page 55: Geography Notes

Key term check:GreenBelts - countryside area around an urban area which are protected from development to restrict urban sprawlBrownfield Site - an area of land previously build on where developments have been demolished and new building can take placeGreenfield Site - an area of countryside never built on before

green belts, urban sprawl

Out Of Town Shopping Centres

Since the 1980s, much of the retail development in the UK has been in the form of out-

of-town developments as lower land-values, the availability of land for expansion, a

nearby labour force and good access routes on the rural-urban fringe of settlements has

encouraged out-of-town centres to develop. These out-of-town centres, contain large,

well-known stores and often have attractions for all the family, including leisure facilities,

catering outlets etc. The growth of these development has however led to a number of

common problems which include:

- traffic congestion in the vicinity of the new developments

- larger stores are often attracted away from nearby town and city centres to

these new centres

- more empty shops in town and city centres (often attract vandalism)

- fewer people visiting the city centres - resulting in the creation of a 'dead

heart', particularly in smaller market towns and economic decline

City centres have been fighting back against out-of-town developments through 'shop local' campaigns and in 1998, there were calls by the government to stop out-of-town developments, however there have more recently been proposals for relaxing the resulting planning laws which would make it easier for superstores to build out-of-town developments. Other attempts to reduce town centre decline include calls to abolish free car-parking in out-of-town developments to encourage shoppers back to the town centre.

Page 56: Geography Notes


Meadowhall shopping centre is a large out-of-town shopping centre that has been developed on the outskirts of Sheffield. It was built in the late 1980s as a response to the lack of shopping provision in the area. It was constructed on a brownfield site (56 hectare site of a former steelworks). Access to the shopping centre is excellent and it is close to several large urban areas with 9 million people living within an hours drive of the centre (see map opposite).

Why this location?

plenty of space for expansion and for providing large free car parks

rates and rents are lower than in the city centre (shops can be bigger) - i.e.

cheaper land on edge of Sheffield

near to suburban housing (provides a labour force)

near a number of motorway intersections (nearbly M1/A roads) - great

accessibility and access to large sphere of influence

Page 57: Geography Notes

old brownfield site (was a steelworks) with plenty of room for expansion if


The main characteristics of the shopping centre:

bright and modern with many different faciliites, including a leisure centre,

cinema, creche and other attractions for children;

a large variety of shops;

large, free car parts (12,000 spaces!)

provides under-cover shopping (not restricted by weather and shoppers, shop

in the comfort of an air-conditioned complex)

supertram link with the city centre;

two new railways stations built

The Impact of Meadowhall on Sheffield?

The building of Meadowhall has had an impact on Sheffield City Centre, as

many shops have moved out and takings have been down for some shops by

as much as 25%.

Page 58: Geography Notes

EXAMPLE 2: BLUEWATER - nr Dartford (Kent)

Bluewater, known as Europe's largest retail and leisure complex, opened in

1999, it was built on a brownfield site, in a disussed chalk quarry and has

excellent access, being just outside the M25 in the area of Dartford. The

following powerpoint gives more detail about the location and features of the

out-of-town shopping centre as well as giving some consideration to the

criticisms the centre has come under

Other examples of out-of-town shopping centres include:Lakeside - East of LondonBrent Cross - NW LondonMetro Centre - GatesheadMerry Hill - Dudley (Birmingham)

The Rural-Urban Fringe (Land-use and conflict)

The rural-urban fringe (the area at the edge of a city) has become an increasingly

popular area for economic developments. Competition for land in these areas increased

signficantly during the 1990s. The land is much cheaper here than in the city centre,

and many factories that were once in inner city locations have moved to these areas as

their previous locations lacked space for expansion. As well as industrial estates and

residential use, these areas attract shopping centres, business parks and recreation

facilities such as golf courses. The benefits of the rural-urban fringe are set out in the

diagram below.

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Conflict at the Rural-Urban fringe

Although there is competition for land for economic developments at the rural-urban

fringe, there is increasing pressure from environmental groups to restrict urban sprawl

and protect the environment on the edge of cities from economic pressures. If urban

sprawl continues unchecked, many wildlife habitats would be destroyed.

Conservationists and farmers want to protect nature reserves and farmland, and open

space for recreation is required by people living in the nearby urban area. There is

therefore competition for land at the rural-urban fringe and conflict between economic

and environmental land-uses. You should be aware of these and be able to discuss

them in an exam answer.

There have been a number of attempts to control urban sprawl and reduce / restrict

developments on the rural-urban fringe, these include Green Belts which were created

by the government in 1947.

Key Terms Check:

Rural-urban fringe - where urban areas meet the surrounding countryside

Green Belt - an area of land around a settlement where development is severely


Urban Sprawl - uncontrolled growth on the edge of a settlement

Greenfield Site - land previously unbuilt on

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Suburbs - the growth and characteristics of


Since the early 20th century, cities have continued to grow outwards into the

countryside. This is the process of suburbanisation as new residential areas are

created at the edge of the city. This new growth surrounded the old industries and low-

class residential areas giving them an inner-city location. In the 1920s/30s many of the

middle classes moved out of the inner city areas buying houses along main roads /

railway routes from the centre (ribbon development)

Reasons for Suburban Growth:

1. Better public transport and increased car ownership meant people could separate work from where they live

2. Building societies provided mortgages making it easier to buy homes 3. People were better off and looking for a better living environment

The continued outward growth of cities is also known as urban sprawl. Early suburban growth (1920s/30s) forms the inner suburbs, as it has now been encircled by further growth (1960s/1980s) which form the outer suburbs.

Characteristics of the Inner Suburbs

Although some inter-war housing was built as estates, ribbon development, laong main roads into the city was common. The photograph below is a typical example of a inner suburban landscape (with housing dating back to the 1920s/30s). Compared to the inner city there is much greater owner-occupancy as people bought their own homes.

The typical characteristics associated with the inner suburbs are shown below (photo

courtesey of freefoto.com) :

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Urban Sprawl has continued to enlarge towns and cities, with continued growth at the rural-urban fringe (where the countryside meets the urban area). Residential development on thsi outer fringe forms the outer suburbs. As a result of policies in the 1960s to clear inner city slums, some outer city council estates can be found in these areas.

There are also many private residential estates. Many of these estates were built between the 1960s and 1980s and provide high-quality, low density housing. There is more open space avaialble and a much higher quality living environment. The houses are large and usually either semi-detached or detached. The houses have gardens and garages and are modern in design as well as the amenities they provide. The photograph below highlights the main characteristics that are typical of housing in the outer suburbs.

The typical characteristics associated with outer suburb areas are shown below (photo

courtesey of freefoto.com) :

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Key Term Check:

Inner Suburbs - residential area surrounding the inner city, characterised by semi-detached houses and tree-lined streetsOuter Suburbs - residential area towards the edge of a city, characterised by larger often detached houses and modern housing estates.Urban Sprawl - the uncontrolled growth of an urban area into the surrounding countrysideResidential - an area of housing