WILD WATCH, TWEED VALLEY FOREST PARK

CLIENT : THE FORESTRY COMMISSION, SCOTLAND

We won an open tender with the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), for a brief combining visitor information and nature interpretation with some national-level communications thinking; FCS wanted new ideas to engage walkers and mountain bike riders in the stories - and safety messages - that could enrich their experience of the beautiful Tweed Valley Forest Park.

First, we developed an interpretive plan and budget to fit the brief. At Glentress Peel, the new visitor facility for the Tweed Valley's gateway site, we designed and delivered a network of information touchscreen kiosks, and a 'Wild Watch' room, introducing heritage themes and kids activities alongside upgrades for the established 'Osprey Watch' remote camera links. Across the seven forests that make up the Forest Park we researched and delivered welcome and interpretive signage.

As for piloting new ideas, we developed templates that FCS could use with temporary survey-marker spray so that eyecatching messages and safety information could pop up in new locations - maintaining the element of surprise and grabbing riders' attention. We established a grafitti-inspired language for this at Glentress Peel, stencilling slogans in the changing rooms and an 'ascent of the Mountain Bike Rider' graphic in the bike wash. For walkers, we built a new bench in a stunning spot, with solar-powered audio and a humorous 'axe wielding' photo-opportunity to profile tales of Forestry's war time 'Lumber Jills'.

Link to The Forestry Commission Website.