Attractions and visitors

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Like museums, the countryside/ conservation sector can come across as nerdy, insular and irrelevant. The best organisations in both sectors are doing great, and tough, work to change that.

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We are especially interested in automated lighthouses as tourism businesses at the moment. This means that even when on holiday in a faraway area in the extreme south west of Scotland, a community-run lighthouse attraction that radiates success stops us in our TellTale tracks.   We spent a large part of the last year working on interpretation strategies and […]

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Heritage and countryside sites need the support of local people. Indeed I might even go as far as to say that without that support the site or attraction has missed its purpose.

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Using interpretation to communicate with local people has been an important part of many of our recent projects. It calls for some rather different approaches than interpretation for tourists.

The Museum of Broken Relationships, breaking conventions

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In 2011 The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb was awarded the Kenneth Hudson Prize for Most Innovative Museum in Europe. I visited it in December 2013. But is The Museum of Broken Relationships really a museum, I asked myself? I mean, seriously? Probably not seriously but, yes, a museum, albeit one teetering on the brink of definitions […]

Words, pictures and me at the Archaeological Museum, Zagreb

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Kick-ass jewellery and kicked out relationships – two things I will remember from my time with Zagreb museums and their labels. Visiting museums always make me think about what the words in museums are for – one of my favourite things to think about.  Zagreb’s Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Broken Relationships take very different approaches to […]

‘Living the woodland life’ with Ben Laws

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Yesterday Peter and I spent the day in Prickly Nut Wood with Ben Laws, listening to him talk about his ‘forest life’ and his woodsmanship. I almost always find being with people in a place that they are strongly connected to, moving. This was exceptional. It may have been life-changing. Ben is extraordinarily connected with […]

Heritage interpretation and cultural tourism – some answers.

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Interpretation often is aimed at visitors.  It can be designed for local people but that’s a different game. Often it is aimed at people who are ‘not from round here’.  Interpretation can play a significant role in helping them understand the place they are visiting. This post follows on from my recent one where I […]

Making your workplace into a visitor attraction

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During the last six months we have helped several commercial businesses to use interpretation to make more of their company heritage. We were therefore particularly interested in how Nils Olsson, manufacturers of Dala horses in the small village of Nusnas in Darlana, Sweden, approached this. During a recession, longevity and  tradition can be valuable, reassuring […]

Interpreting conflicts in carnivore conservation

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I like and admire a country that sets a minimum population size for its large carnivores. Sweden does this for bear, wolf, wolverine and lynx. This of course is contentious, especially among people whose livelihoods and way of life are threatened the transhumance farmers whose animals graze wild in summer and the Sami reindeer herders. […]