Key Messages in the Landscape

Learning outcomes

By the end of their visit, most visitors should understand that:

  • The countryside may look tough, rugged and static, but actually it's very fragile. Without constant care and management, it would very quickly lose much of its special value - and you can help us to care for it.
  • The changing landscape and its wildlife (biodiversity) are your inheritance - marvel and enjoy. They will look different in different seasons. They have been formed by farming over thousands of years as well as by climatic influences and even longer ago by geological processes.
  • Sustainability - the future of the landscape, and what is at your feet, is in your hands and everyone should be given the rights to explore and enjoy it. Your lifestyle has a real impact on the countryside and the environment - by using the country code and making the right choices in your lifestyle (such as the food you buy), you can help to care for places like this.
  • There are a variety of designations for parts of the countryside (AONB, SSSI, ESA). Different areas contain different habitats some (such as unimproved grassland, wet flushes, heathland) are rare and very valuable because they support such a rich variety of insects, birds, plants and other wildlife.

Secondary messages:

  • Exercise, fresh air, the natural green environment and sense of tranquillity can make you healthy
  • People have always earned their living in the countryside, and it is still important for farming livelihoods today.
  • Learning and understanding increases your interest and enjoyment of the natural world
  • Being tidy may not be good for the environment and leaving rough patches (such as nettle, bramble, thistle) attracts butterflies and other insects.

More regular visitors will:

  • Be able to recognise some of the work that conservation agencies carry out to care for area (such as footpath repair, coppicing, hedge laying, heather burning etc.)
  • Understand that bracken can be a threat to heathland
  • Understand the link between grazing levels and healthy heather
  • Recognise they do well to observe and learn from nature

Behavioural outcomes

As a result of our interpretation, most visitors will be more likely to:

  • Keep to paths (and use only designated car parks)
  • Control their dogs and clear up after them
  • Support the work of conservation agencies by joining, contributing or volunteering
  • Support the countryside by buying products from countryside shops
  • Come back again to explore some more perhaps in a different season
  • Treat wild places with more care and respect
  • Think about being a bit more 'green' in their everyday lives (cycling, recycling, buying sustainably locally produced food)
  • Support the countryside area visited by buying locally produced countryside products.

Emotional outcomes

As a result of our interpretation, most visitors will be more likely to:

  • feel more confident to explore and enjoy
  • have a sense of place, a feeling for being part of it and an ability to contribute
  • recognise and appreciate heathland wherever they see it, and will be more likely to get pleasure from the sight of a purple hillside.
  • feel supportive and positive about the work of Conservation Agencies in the countryside, and want to support them.
  • Regular visitors will identify closely with the area and will want to find out more when they revisit

Summary of interpretative outcomes:

Most visitors will leave the site with an understanding that the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is fragile and precious, that it needs careful management, and that they can help us now take care of it.

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