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Analysis on settlement hierachy coursework

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In my introduction of my investigation I made a hypothesis that said, "the settlements of Prestwood and Wendover demonstrate the settlement hierarchy." I predicted that Prestwood was a large village and Wendover was a small town, and I said that I would try and prove this by observing and comparing the two settlements with each other. Over the last four months I have investigated this hypothesis thoroughly and my results and data presentation have proved that my hypothesis was correct.

I have collected this data in various different techniques, but my main technique was the questionnaire, which I carried out in both settlements. Some of which is primary information, like the questionnaire which I designed, the photographs which I took of particular services and characteristics in each settlement which I collected all myself; and some of it is secondary information like the data which I collected from the Aylesbury reference library.

My data helps show that the two settlements that I carried out my investigation in, Prestwood and Wendover are placed in some sort of order in the settlement hierarchy. Prestwood is the smaller settlement of the two with a population of 7124 people, and Wendover being the larger settlement of the two having a population of 8612 people; I collected this data form the Aylesbury reference library.

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Also in Wendover there is a wider range of places where the people have visited from in Wendover, whereas in Prestwood the majority of people visited from within the settlement and so I sketched out a land use survey of the services and whether or not they were high or low. After examining and comparing each of the settlement diagrams I realized that there is higher amount of high order services in Wendover than Prestwood which symbolizes another characteristic of a town.

Whilst collecting my data for my questionnaire I had to write down the services available and whether they were low or high services.

I found out that Wendover has a larger amount of services available than Prestwood and so more people would visit the settlement due to the wider range of services.

I carried out a traffic survey also and I found out that Wendover has a higher average of vehicles passed per minute in a busy part of the settlement than Prestwood.

1. What are the populations of the two settlements?

To investigate about this question I researched and collected information from the Aylesbury reference library. During my visit there I found out the population of each settlement. I discovered that the population of people living in Prestwood is 7124 people.

I also found that Wendover has a population of 8612 people.

Due to the fact that I found out that Wendover has a larger population of people than Wendover it gives us the impression that it is a larger settlement also and more likely to be stated as being a town than a village. This makes my theory and prediction correct, when I stated that the larger settlement would have a larger population.

2. What services are available in each settlement? (Low/High)

The settlement of Wendover contains of a large number of low, medium and high order services, with a total number of 10 low order, 21 medium order and 10 high order services. In the certain area of which I carried out my investigation there were a number of 10 low and medium order services and 8 high order services.

The settlement of Prestwood contains mostly medium order services with some low order and one or two high order services. In the certain area of which I carried out my investigation in Prestwood there were a number of 10 low and medium orders services and 6 high order services.

These facts agree with my theory and prediction of; the settlement with the larger population would have a larger number of high order services and the smaller settlement would have a larger percentage of low and medium order services. I think that this is true due to the fact that if there are more people living in the settlement there will correspondingly have a range of low, medium and high order services.

3. How far do people travel to visit Prestwood and Wendover for their services? (High/Low)

During my investigation I carried out a questionnaire to find out information about this question.

In the settlement of Wendover people travelled from distant surroundings like the outskirts of Aylesbury and Princes Risborough. Whereas in the settlement of Prestwood I found out that there are only very few people whom visit the services actually outside Prestwood, let alone travelling a long distance to use the services. I also discovered whilst carrying out my questionnaire in Wendover that most people whom have visited from a distance used the high order services, while on the contrary the settlement of Prestwood most people visited to use the low order services.

These statistics give me the impression that people are only willing to travel a long distance to use the high order services rather than in Prestwood most people have travelled from within the village or the outskirts of it. Due to the fact that there are more high order services available in Wendover may be the reason in why there is a higher amount of people using the services, and why more people have travelled to Wendover from a distance than Prestwood. From my questionnaire research I found that the general maximum people travel to visit Prestwood is the settlement of Gt. Kingshill, which is only 3 minutes away from the services. I have not included the person whom visited from Aylesbury or Hughenden or the person whom was passing through, due to the number for each was so little. In extent, the maximum length people travel to use the services of Wendover was the settlements of Gt. Missenden and Prestwood, which is roughly 7 miles.

4. Do the number of services available reflect the population of each settlement?

In Wendover the number of services does reflect the population of the settlement; this is due to having the population of a small town, being smaller than the large town and bigger than a large village. This is corresponding in the amount of the services and the type of order of the services, as there are more services, with a higher order than the small village but a smaller amount of services than the large town.

In Prestwood the number of services does also reflect population of the settlement; this is due to having the population of a large village, being smaller than a small town but larger than a small village. This also corresponds in the amount of the services and the type of order of the services within the settlement.

These statistics prove my prediction to be accurate due to the fact that I stated that the larger settlement, the higher the number of services available and the smaller the settlement the lower the number of services available.

5. How many vehicles pass in a certain place of each settlement?

In the certain area of which I carried out my traffic survey in Wendover there seemed to be an awful lot more vehicles passing than in the area in Prestwood.

I encountered that the average number of vehicles passed in Wendover was 22.467, which is a reasonable high amount.

The average number of vehicles in Prestwood was 15.867.

These statistics symbolizes the difference of traffic between a town and a village. The larger the settlement the more cars travelling throughout. In my opinion this is due to the population of Wendover being more then Prestwood being higher and so accordingly there should be a higher amount of cars travelling about.

The data I gathered follows the theories I introduced in my introduction precisely, this states about the Settlement Hierarchy. All the settlements followed the settlement hierarchy. This theory states that the smaller the settlement and population the less frequency and quality of the services. Therefore the small towns, with small populations, have very few services and the ones that it does are of low quality. Oppositely the large settlements, with large populations, will have more services which are of better quality.

I can see this trend of data in my results and data presentation. Prestwood has a smaller population so pursuing my theory it should have fewer services which are mostly of high and low order services, and from my data I can see that is true. Wendover is a larger settlement and has a larger population so, in agreement with my theory, it should have more services, which are of a high order.

During the time in which I carried out my questionnaire in Prestwood I asked a man where he had travelled from to use the service he had used, and he replied that he was from Newport in Wales and had come down to visit some of his family. Due to this being very unusual answer I counted his data as an anomaly and did not include it in my results table or in any of my graphs. This interpretation does not relate to my knowledge of the area and that is one of the reasons in which I have not included this in my data. Another is that it does not agree and correspond with my theory and is a one-off occurrence during my investigation.

As I have stated before, the settlement of Wendover would obviously be placed above Prestwood in the settlement hierarchy.

But if I were asked to place them appropriately on the settlement hierarchy this is where I would.

As you can see above I have placed the two settlements appropriately; Wendover is plotted beside the small town section and Prestwood at the top of the village section which is symbolizing that its is not quite a small town but a large village.

In conclusion, during the time that I have carried out my investigation on whether "the settlements of Prestwood and Wendover demonstrate the settlement hierarchy" I have discovered many factors in thorough detail.

I have found out that the settlement of Wendover and the settlement of Prestwood do in fact demonstrate in some order the settlement hierarchy.

From my own knowledge, experiments and techniques I have made an opinion of my own that Prestwood is a large village and Wendover is a small town.

I have discovered through secondary information from the Aylesbury reference library that the settlement of Prestwood has a population of 7124 people, and Wendover, the larger settlement of the two has a population of 8612 people.

I have also established that the two settlements of Wendover and Prestwood also demonstrate the order of services hierarchy due to finding out that the larger population the larger the number of high order services and the smaller the settlement the larger percentage of low and medium order services.

The larger the population the higher the number of services within and so there is a higher majority of people visiting from far distances.

The higher the number of services in the settlement the larger the population and the larger the settlement the busier the roads and the higher amount of vehicles passing.

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