Taunton School at Dusk

Trip to the coast and monkey business!

Posted: 16th November 2017


The group arrived at Lulworth Cove in the morning and were given a history lesson by the Estate Rangers, Jim and Steve, on the local area. They told us about the geological history of the different kinds of rocks, as well as the global history and how it has affected Lulworth. We were shown a series of animations that highlighted these lessons. We were then split into two groups aptly named ‘Arches’ and ‘Stacks’. We then walked along the cliffs where we could see the different layers of rock in the cove as well as the Lulworth Crumple, which is where the layers have been pushed together by tectonic plate movement. Then we made our way down to the cove itself and learnt about the impact of tourism on the area and how it has affected the local environment. The heavy flow of tourists during the summer months affects the area both positively and negatively. The Estate Rangers try to manage this to minimise the environmental impact.

We then made our way back to the visitors’ centre where, during lunch, we had the opportunity to discuss with passing tourists why they come to visit the area and from how far away. This helped us to understand the reaching effect that tourism has, not only on the UK, but on international visitors as well.

After lunch we headed up over the hill to Durdle Door. As we walked up the steep hill the Rangers stopped, periodically, to show us examples of nature, from the wind-whipped rabbit holes to the cattle grazing on the hill. The Rangers also explained that they only kept a handful of cattle on the land to prevent overgrazing. This, in turn, meant that the grass and plants were different lengths which helps to maintain a stable ecosystem – fascinating! We finally made it to Durdle Door, where we had the opportunity to sit down and sketch the scenic view in front of us: it was a truly breath-taking experience.
As everyone else in the school headed to Lulworth Cove to explore the coast, our juniors set off for Monkey World excited to learn more about the ape rescue centre. We had already learnt a lot in class about the charity which was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin. They rehabilitate over 30 species of primates who have been rescued from abuse and neglect. The first monkeys to be saved were Spanish beach chimps who were taken from their mothers when they were babies and made to work long hours taking photographs with tourists.

Many of the primates at Monkey World had been neglected by not being fed a proper diet before they arrived. We learnt about what different primates need for a balanced diet and also helped make some nut and seed challenge bottles for small monkeys. We had an absolutely fantastic day and had some good laughs watching the orangutans playing as a man told us all about their sad, old lives and their happy, new lives. We also had fun playing on the big playground.

Next week we are going to hold a doughnut sale to help to raise money so we can adopt a primate. Many of the primates have been rescued from being pets where they were neglected so Monkey World are going to make sure it has all the things it needs: food, water, space to exercise and friends. We hope we can visit again soon.


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