Welcome to the blog of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Northampton. This will keep you up to date with both student and staff activities.

The Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences includes staff with interests in biological sciences, conservation, ecology, environmental sciences, environmental statistics, geography and waste management. We offer a range of degree programmes and have a number of postgraduate research students. For more information about studying with us please visit http://www.northampton.ac.uk/.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Second year geographers learn about community development in Mawsley village

On Monday 12th December, second year geographers braved icy conditions to go on a fieldtrip to new urban developments in Northamptonshire.

After a series of lectures about postwar urban development/expansion policies, the fieldtrip allowed students to visit Mawsley village: a new village development near Kettering. Students completed a guided walk of the village, in search of evidence of community development, accessibility, safety, design/architecture and village identity.

Rob Bailey, Chair of the Mawsley Villagers’ Association, was kind enough to join us for a Q&A session in the village community centre (warm and comfortable!) Rob provided some fascinating insights about:

         the development of community spirit and identity in a new village;
         pros and cons of living in a ‘new village’;
         ‘waves’ of housing development in the village;
         plan for, and responses to, future development on the site.

Members of the Geography class meeting Rob Bailey (Chair of the Mawsley Villagers' Association)

Friday, 12 December 2014

University Wheelchair Basketball team attend Geography class to discuss accessibility issues on campus

Big thanks to Brian, Gianluca and Kieran from the University of Northampton Wheelchair Basketball team, who visited today’s first year Geography class to share experiences of using a wheelchair on campus.

Members of UoN Wheelchair Basketball Team, telling first year Geographers about their experiences of university life.

It was really helpful to hear first-hand experiences of university life from the perspective of wheelchair users. For example, we learnt about:

·         long routes and delays involved in getting around buildings;
·         stress and hazards caused by inconsiderately parked bikes and cars;
·         frustrations caused by blocked doorways, congested corridors, and engaged disabled toilets;
·         experiences of feeling ‘pitied’, ‘stereotyped’ and ‘patronised’;
·         the hard physical effort involved in getting across campus in a wheelchair;
·         the challenges and dangers of everyday activities like buying a coffee and pastry!

The discussion will be really useful to students preparing to research wheelchair accessibility for a forthcoming assignment.  This links to a series of classes all about geographies of disability.
We also heard about the excellent opportunities to get involved in volunteering, sport, exercise and/or fundraising with the Wheelchair Basketball team. Hopefully some students will be inspired to get involved. For information and contact details click here: https://www.facebook.com/UoNWheelieBBall