We spend much of last week in the New Forest working with the partners in the Our Past Our Future Landscape Area Partnership. We are developing an interpretation strategy to help the people who live ‘in’ and ‘with’ the forest can communicate more effectively with Forest residents and neighbours who often have little understanding or awareness of the Forest wildlife and traditions, especially commoning.
Where an interpretation strategy can really make a difference
This is fascinating work and a context where high quality, well-thought out contemporary interpretation can play a vital role. We have carried out an audit of existing interpretation and held an excellent participative workshop with partners and stakeholders to identify what they want to communicate with visitors.
The importance of audience insight
Our associates Resources for Change are developing the Audience Development Plan that provides insight into the audience. This is highlighting the disconnect between them and the ‘ living with the Forest’ group.
Our interpretation strategy will recommend methods to bridge this gap. These include: participatory activities, new approaches to face to face interpretation and building community involvement across a range of projects.
This is exciting and important work.