Samphire Hoe

  • Samphire Hoe
  • Samphire Hoe
  • Samphire Hoe

Location

Samphire Hoe
Dover
CT17 9FL

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Contact

paul.holt@whitecliffscountryside.org.uk 01304 225649

Opening Times

7am until dusk every day

Facilities

Parking Toilets Disabled Food Drink

About

Samphire Hoe

Samphire Hoe is a magical place – a nature reserve created from scratch using the spoil dug out during the boring of the Channel Tunnel. The site is approached through a long tunnel from which visitors emerge on to a narrow belt of land with Shakespeare Cliff looming on one side, sloping down to a massive sea wall on the other. A circular walk through the nature reserve, returning via the sea wall, takes about an hour.

The site is rich in wildlife and an important location for the study of biodiversity, the development of habitats and climate. Its landscape – natural and artificial – holds important lessons about the development of place and can be a rich source of inspiration for art and creative writing.

Samphire Hoe has a fantastic education shelter available for hire, offering a warm dry space for visiting groups (pre-booking required, small charge payable for half or full day rental-email paul.holt@whitecliffscountryside.org.uk to book or for more information) Guided tours also possible for a small charge. Contact Paul Holt for details

Samphire Hoe Website

Activities

English

Poetry Activities

Poetry Activities

Poets use their senses to create their poems. Here are some activities that you can do on site to help you produce fantastic poetry based on your experiences.

Other texts you might want to look at:

• Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 4 scene 1 (from ‘Dost thou know Dover’) and scene 6 (to Lear’s entrance).
• Carol Ann Duffy, ‘White Cliffs’
• Daljit Nagra, ‘Look we have coming to Dover’
• See also http://www.poetryatlas.com/search/white+cliffs.html

Poetry – Matthew Arnold ‘Dover Beach’

Poetry – Matthew Arnold ‘Dover Beach’

Matthew Arnold wrote his notes for Dover Beach when he was on his honeymoon in Dover in 1851. Can you describe the sea as well as he does? What does it make you think of? The sea and the cliffs are ages old – how does that make you feel? What are your hopes for the future? Look around you and discover how what you see can inspire you.

Poetry – Ros Barber ‘Samphire Hoe’

Poetry – Ros Barber ‘Samphire Hoe’

Samphire Hoe was made by piling up the spoil from digging out the Channel Tunnel. It is the world turned upside down, with the seabed as its surface. It is also a new place made from nothing. Create a poem by describing what you can you hear and see there now. And think about what kind of world would you like to make if you could start from scratch…

History

Under the Sea-How Samphire Hoe Was Created

Under the Sea-How Samphire Hoe Was Created

Samphire Hoe was created from rock from the sea bed dug out and piled up in the 1980s during the boring of the Channel Tunnel. Less than 30 years ago the spot you are standing on was sea! Discover the changes to the Samphire Hoe site from the coming of the railway in 1843 to the present and make your own map to show how it all happened.

Chemistry

Atoms, Elements and the Downs

Atoms, Elements and the Downs

The Downs can be an excellent resource to support Chemistry teaching. Head out to Samphire Hoe and see its potential for yourself, with these handy activity suggestions.

What’s Under Your Feet?

What’s Under Your Feet?

Earth is the only planet in the solar system to be able to support life as far as we know, and has been able to do so for the last 3000 million years. During this time the living environment (or biosphere) has survived because of the intricate balance of relationships between the land, water and atmosphere.
Today the biosphere is being studied by environmental scientists across the world, and as the relationships become more understood, humanity is becoming more responsible for our own influences. We are able to observe and research collectively, and are beginning to respond with confidence to threats such as global warming, and the growing loss of biodiversity across the planet.
The chalk coastline of the North Downs is one of the world’s rarest of habitats, with unique conditions and ecosystems. See what you can discover as you step out into the North Downs…

Biology

Walk in Darwin’s Footsteps

Walk in Darwin’s Footsteps

The Up on the Downs coast is rich in both fossils and unusual plants, each able to offer evidence and clues to the changing make-up of the local environment, touching different times in the Earth’s history. But to stand a chance of finding these markers and then interpreting their clues, one needs the skills of a good detective.
Victorian naturalist Charles Darwin regularly visited the White Cliffs to study the fossils exposed in the face of the cliffs. His observations of the varying fossil forms, related to their locations in the strata, helped him to formulate his world-changing theory of evolution and natural selection.

Art & Design

Art and Design Activities

Art and Design Activities

Your local area and other similar places have provided inspiration for generations of artists. Get out there to gather ideas that will inspire your own work…

What does your environment mean to you? What are your memories and dreams? Use a site visit to record your impressions and create a presentation that explains your past and your hopes for the future.

Dover artist William Burgess (1805–1861) painted scenes and stories of local life and also pioneered a revolutionary way of displaying them called a Cosmorama. What stories of Dover today would you like to tell through your art and how could you present them?

Art and Design at Samphire Hoe

Art and Design at Samphire Hoe

Graffiti art is a powerful way of expressing your point of view. What local issue would you like to highlight – and how could you best express it using Samphire Hoe’s sea wall as a location?

Be a film-maker for a day… How could you use Samphire Hoe as the setting for a film or music promo?

Geography

Heroes of the Goodwin Sands – Be a Coastguard for the Day

Heroes of the Goodwin Sands – Be a Coastguard for the Day

Over the centuries, mariners using the English Channel have needed to be able to read the changing moods of the sea, understanding when and where its force might be a danger to their sailing vessels. Unfortunately the most destructive conditions for the ships could be the best of friends for salvagers, and reading the coast well could bring bountiful rewards.
As sea trading increased through the 18th century so did the need to protect any ships from coming to grief on the coast, through bad weather and wreckers. Additionally there was a growing illegal trade in importing, or smuggling goods into the country, without customs payments being made to the Crown. From these needs came the birth of the Coastguard.
Read the weather, head for the coast, and see what you can save or salvage…

The Shipping Forecast – Be a Meteorologist for the Day

The Shipping Forecast – Be a Meteorologist for the Day

Weather reports from the Dover coastal weather logging station are broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4, playing a crucial role in warning mariners using the English Channel and South coast of dangerous sailing conditions. You may have heard Dover mentioned as part of the radio transmission sequence – Fair Isle, Viking, Cromarty, Forties?

Unbeknownst to most people, just down the road near Castle Hill Folkestone, is the remains of a rather more secretive and austere ‘weather’ observation station. During the Cold War an underground station was built to potentially house 3 dedicated ‘meteorologists’, should Nuclear War break out. Their job would have been to report a very different kind of weather – announcing any visible nuclear explosion sightings, alongside the wind direction and wind speed – helping to predict any following fall-out that would then blow across the Channel to Britain.

Walk in Darwin’s Footsteps

Walk in Darwin’s Footsteps

The Up on the Downs coast is rich in both fossils and unusual plants, each able to offer evidence and clues to the changing make-up of the local environment, touching different times in the Earth’s history. But to stand a chance of finding these markers and then interpreting their clues, one needs the skills of a good detective.
Victorian naturalist Charles Darwin regularly visited the White Cliffs to study the fossils exposed in the face of the cliffs. His observations of the varying fossil forms, related to their locations in the strata, helped him to formulate his world-changing theory of evolution and natural selection.

What’s Under Your Feet?

What’s Under Your Feet?

Earth is the only planet in the solar system to be able to support life as far as we know, and has been able to do so for the last 3000 million years. During this time the living environment (or biosphere) has survived because of the intricate balance of relationships between the land, water and atmosphere.
Today the biosphere is being studied by environmental scientists across the world, and as the relationships become more understood, humanity is becoming more responsible for our own influences. We are able to observe and research collectively, and are beginning to respond with confidence to threats such as global warming, and the growing loss of biodiversity across the planet.
The chalk coastline of the North Downs is one of the world’s rarest of habitats, with unique conditions and ecosystems. See what you can discover as you step out into the North Downs…

Cross Curricular

Heroes of the Goodwin Sands – Be a Coastguard for the Day

Heroes of the Goodwin Sands – Be a Coastguard for the Day

Over the centuries, mariners using the English Channel have needed to be able to read the changing moods of the sea, understanding when and where its force might be a danger to their sailing vessels. Unfortunately the most destructive conditions for the ships could be the best of friends for salvagers, and reading the coast well could bring bountiful rewards.
As sea trading increased through the 18th century so did the need to protect any ships from coming to grief on the coast, through bad weather and wreckers. Additionally there was a growing illegal trade in importing, or smuggling goods into the country, without customs payments being made to the Crown. From these needs came the birth of the Coastguard.
Read the weather, head for the coast, and see what you can save or salvage…

The Shipping Forecast – Be a Meteorologist for the Day

The Shipping Forecast – Be a Meteorologist for the Day

Weather reports from the Dover coastal weather logging station are broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4, playing a crucial role in warning mariners using the English Channel and South coast of dangerous sailing conditions. You may have heard Dover mentioned as part of the radio transmission sequence – Fair Isle, Viking, Cromarty, Forties?

Unbeknownst to most people, just down the road near Castle Hill Folkestone, is the remains of a rather more secretive and austere ‘weather’ observation station. During the Cold War an underground station was built to potentially house 3 dedicated ‘meteorologists’, should Nuclear War break out. Their job would have been to report a very different kind of weather – announcing any visible nuclear explosion sightings, alongside the wind direction and wind speed – helping to predict any following fall-out that would then blow across the Channel to Britain.

Differentiated and SEN Activities

Crossing the Channel-Can you find another way?!

Crossing the Channel-Can you find another way?!

Imagine this scenario-its 2050 and the traffic using the channel tunnel has grown over the years to the point that the tunnel can no longer cope with the traffic-what do we do now?! Challenge your pupils to come up with innovative solutions to this problem!