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Heritage trails for Tourism Southeast

Project Summary

Three pilot trail leaflets for historic properties, in conjunction with Acorn Tourism Consultants for Tourism South East.

The brief was to identify key users and to tailor a product for them with the aim of getting them to understand the setting of the property in its landscape, and to support local businesses. The leaflets included questionnaires so that Tourism Southeast could survey users and find out how they liked the trail leaflet.

For Parham Park, we devised a trail for middle-age users with an interest in nature. The trail was to encourage visitors to Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve and the adjacent Parham Park estate to visit the other property (Pulborough Brooks is generally better known and many visitors do not come to Parham). We interviewed the estate workers and found fascinating stories of their changing attitudes in favour of nature conservation. This was in the light of the Great Storm of 1987; the estate was devastated, but they decided to leave trees as they were, resulting in rich wildlife diversity. It is, for example, one of the few sites for field crickets.

For the National Trust's Petworth House, we made a trail for older visitors that leads into Petworth town (which is ignored by many visitors) and explores the history of the estate workers, taking in a recreated interior of a cottage of one of the former seamstresses who worked in the great house.

At Lullingstone Roman Villa, we devised in consultation with English Heritage a trail for children that was to encourage children to look at the landscape in a Roman perspective: a time-travelling owl told the story and made comparisons between Roman times and the present: not just the villa itself but features that have Roman parallels - Eynsford Church (and Roman Christian sites), a railway viaduct (like the great Roman aqueducts), falcon-flying displays, lavender fields and a brick manor house (with slightly different bricks from what the Romans used).

The three map-guides I helped produce for Tourism South East for their survey.
The three map-guides I helped produce for Tourism South East for their survey.
Copyright © Tim Locke. All rights reserved.

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