Tourism is vital to this island community. The main attraction is the Rathlin Seabird Centre which is run by the RSPB.
Some visitors had been frustrated to find that off-road access for walkers was very limited and there are no footpaths. Our task was to look at how access to the other RSPB-owned land could be managed and the wildlife-interest interpreted to make Rathlin more appealing to both families and wildlife specialists.
We identified new walking and cycling routes. These have now opened and have proved very popular as the allow people to explore much more of the island.
We recommended new interpretation based around listening for the birds that can be heard on Rathlin, but often not in the rest of the UK. This too has been implemented by the RSPB.
The innovative interpretive panel featuring audio of the calls of a few key bird species has proved both popular and resilient. Its location enables it to put listening for birds into people’s minds as they set off on their walk or cycle ride.