The Hampshire Geographical Association is a branch of the national charity that has been running since 1893 and hopes to encourage the exploration of geography beyond the curriculum.

There are many regional branches of the association offering their own schedule of lectures and opportunities. However, each year there is a national conference, where the latest research is discussed, that anyone can partake in- even non-members. 

Former chair of the Hampshire GA, Paul Wraight says that the organisation is “all about enquiry,” and encouraging students to “take ownership of their futures”.

Wraight emphasises the importance of looking beyond the syllabus in order to help develop inquisitive minds. Though geography may not be of interest to everyone, he says that the skills it harnesses are a “very useful jigsaw piece for the future”.

One of the opportunities organised is a series of lectures, the first of which was presented by Professor Paul Wilson from the University of Southampton on the 24th of January. The lecture illustrated the impacts of climate change on the Sahara, and how sediment cores can be used to show the ecosystem’s variations. 

College student Ella, who attended the lecture, said it was “complex” and a “good opportunity to look further”, which were the exact hopes for the event.

As Wraight described it, opportunities are “like throwing seeds on the ground and hoping some will germinate”, aiming to inspire geographical interest in future generations- which the GA is currently excelling in.