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Ecosystems and rural environments

Key ideas Essential content Scale Required exemplification Field trip – Out of classroom learning
Ecosystems exist at a range of scales and involve the interaction of living and non-living components. ·         Biomes and their global distributions.

·         Ecosystems and their components: rock; soils; climate; vegetation; fauna.

·         The nature of the temperate grassland biome and its agricultural use.

Global, national and local. Case study of an area of temperate grassland. Ecosystems – Kew Gardens


Annotated sketch of chernozem soil profile (photographs)

Farming is the principle means of livelihood in most rural environments. ·         Characteristics of rural environments: employment; population density; land use (including recreation and tourism); accessibility; conservation.

·         Farming as a system.

·         Different types of farming: arable/pastoral; commercial/subsistence; intensive/extensive and ways of raising agricultural production (e.g. irrigation, glass houses, genetic engineering, HYVs).

·         Causes and consequences of overproduction (e.g. decline of farming in HICs) and food shortages, and attempts to tackle these problems.

National and regional. Case study of a national park or protected area.

Box Hill – National Trust Land.

Case study of ways of raising agricultural production (e.g. irrigation in Egypt, GM in the USA, vegetable and flower production in Kenya).

Farm production study.


Swanworth Farm – dairy production and cheese.

Rural environments are changing. ·         LIC rural settlement changes: farming changes (e.g. cash cropping) deforestation; changes in occupations, population changes; out-migration (rural to urban migration).

·         HIC rural settlement changes: new economic activities; rural depopulation; counter-urbanisation; service provision.

National, regional and local.   Site and situation of local rural settlements based on map and photographic evidence.


Local area study – Mickleham, Brockham and Leigh comparative village study. Then contrast against a local town (Dorking) comparing: number of services, types of shops, size of population etc.

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