Wren’s Nest has many stories to tell – its geology, mining heritage and its biodiversity. As such, there are many different visitors to the site with many varied interests, in addition to the local community that use the NNR as a recreational resource.
A number of documents have been developed as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund project: Interpretation Strategy, Lifelong Learning Strategy and Audience Development Plan. These documents have identified a series of stories and themes for the NNR, which now need to be brought to life.
In developing how these stories should be conveyed, we have identified a number of locations across the site where new physical interpretation is required. These new features will support many other forms of interpretation which are currently being developed – including on-line, printed and audio guides, trained walk leaders and leaflets.
On visiting the site we developed a series of linked interpretation items. The site itself is a most impressive geological site and is rich in fossils. What struck us was the way the strata of the fossil mounds were upended.
Our solutions uses a range of Vitreous Enamel Interpretation Panels and Cast Iron Interpretation pieces. The Cast Iron Interpretation included a large 1500 mm Cast Iron Trilobite which forms the centre of an interpretation hub that allows visually impaired visitors to collect fossils from the base. The Time Periscope allows the visitor to view the strata through it and to tell the age of the rock by aligning the hill up through it.
We created a Welcome Interpretation Feature which included a map of the site with four walks to follow. The Pillar included a fossil cast in concrete as a base to give visitors a sense of what to expect on the site.
There was also a set of four interpretation panels on lecterns explaining the history, nature and geology of the site. These were produced using Vitreous Enamel for longevity.