The challenge

This heathland conservation project seeks to reinvigorate a sense of connection between local communities and ‘their’ heaths.

Visitor and non-user research (carried out by others) identified two key target audiences.  The first is very regular users, almost all of whom are dog walkers, who comprise 85% of visitors.

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The other target group is local non-users who would be interested in visiting the heaths with support and say they could be interested in walking and wildlife.

This work was part of a Phase II submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Our response

Our audit of existing interpretation identified a lack of consistency of messaging, particularly around behaviour of people and dogs. We therefore recommended replacement of the fixed interpretation on all sites.

A key aspect of our recommendations was for changing panels and temporary interpretation to engage the interest of the very regular users.  This was supported by web-based material.

These recommendations were complemented by a range of proposals for face to face interpretation.

Related Projects

  • Rathlin Island

    • Heritage and Wildlife Interpretation
    • Sustainable Heritage Tourism
    • Visitor Experience Strategy
    • Natura 2000 European Site
    • Nature Reserve

    Our visitor experience plan identified how the RSPB reserves could encourage more visitors to Rathlin Island.

  • Sharing the best of Shropshire

    • Heritage and Wildlife Interpretation
    • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
    • Region

    We were pleased to work closely with Shropshire County Council on a county wide strategy about using interpretation to develop cultural tourism.


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