Norfolk County Council, in the UK, working with Norfolk Coast Partnership and local businesses.
WHO WAS MEANT TO DO IT?
The general public.
WHAT DID THEY DO?
Building on thelegacy of the Coast Alive Norfolk Health Heritage and Biodiversity initiative, a new web-based set of walks in the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was created to download. “Explore More” focusedon the landscapes and places of interest across the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) that are inland, away from the coastline.
HOW DID THEY DO IT?
Having a large number of people at a site on a regular basis risks damaging special habitats and reducing biodiversity. It can also destroy the feeling of wilderness and space that are important qualities of this AONB. Parking provision can also be a problem.
It was acknowledged that visitors to the area want to enjoy the popular beauty spots that are easy to find and well promoted. However, they may be staying in the area for several days, in which case the Explore More guides aimed to encourage people to visit the less well-known areas and give them an alternative to another day at the beach.
After research, it was planned to create up to 10 new walks to fill a significant gap left by the current suite of commercial guides. They were more than just walking guides, but aimed to provide an inspiration for sustainable days out in the area. The guides included web links to local businesses where walkers could eat or shop, places of historical or cultural interest and included short sentences about the local landscape.
The routes were identified and written by a walks surveyor and then tried and tested by Friends of Norfolk Coast Partnership, who also took photographs for the guides.
The routes joined-up with public transport routes, giving people the confidence to spend a day in the AONB countryside without a car.
A new Explore More page was created on the Norfolk Coast Partnership website and icons added to their interactive map where people could click and download individual PDFs for the 10 walks. The PDFs included web links to public transport timetables, local businesses and attractions close to the routes.
HOW MANY PARTICIPATED?
Data regarding number of hits on website will be available July 2012.
58 people involved in the creation of Explore More, mostly small businesses and volunteers.
DID IT WORK?
The two key objectives were met:
- 10 walks of varying distances were created, all designed to bring walkers inland away from the coast, carefully selecting less well-known areas. Details were included indicating approximately how long each walk would take and what to expect along the way. Indication was given where dogs were welcome at refreshment facilities and also informed where dogs need to be kept on leads. Web links to bus timetables were included.
- New walking pages were created for the Norfolk Coast Partnership website and the walk PDFs were added within the required timeframe. Visit the Explore More page: http://www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk/pages/pspage.php?PageID=611. Click on the Active Map pink walk icons to view the individual walk PDFs.
WAS IT SUCCESSFUL?
The finished result was considered to be good and meet the specification.
It was planned to evaluate the use of the Explore More guides in July 2012, four months after they went ‘live’ on the website. This will be done this by counting the number of hits on the website and by analysing any feedback.
The use of volunteers was not anticipated at the start, but there was a positive response when asking the Friends of Norfolk Coast Partnership to test walk the routes and take photographs. Ways of further utilising this goodwill are now being considered.
Norfolk Coast Partnership was pleased with the result and intended to build on this with a second project, Explore More 2. This is a similar idea but this time focusing on off-road cycling and horse riding in the Norfolk Coast AONB. In addition to new cycle and riding routes being published as PDF’s on their website, Explore More 2 aims to promote the cycle routes using GPS technology for cyclists.