Year | 2022
Location | Mam Tor, Peak District, UK
Clients | The National Trust
Mam Tor Hillfort and Settlement is a nationally important archaeological site. Dating back to the Bronze age, it is located in the Peak District and looked after by the National Trust. However, since the pandemic, visitor numbers have doubled and the current facilities are struggling to meet demands and protect the site. The National Trust’s High Peak Estate team called on us to engage with key stakeholders of the area, to enhance the visitor experience of Mam Tor, through masterplanning strategies and sensitive, small scale interventions without ‘breaking ground’. Keen to develop a replicable method, we outlined our proposal as ‘A model for enhanced engagement, education and navigation for rural National Trust sites’.
Over the 6 weeks we held a ‘Let’s Talk’ event and ‘Signage Takeover’ at Mam Tor. The aim was to interact with the public, by testing the wayfinding of existing and new signage, embedded with digital QR code features such as: downloadable routes, interactive audio and visual stories, and augmented reality maps. By engaging people with the rich heritage and ecological vision of the area, we hoped to encourage the public to respect this fragile landscape.
To show the potential for a National Trust roll out of our methods, we put together three ‘National Trust Style Guides for Telling Landscape Stories’, building on the research collected at our events. We used the contrasting National Trust sites of Edale, Kinder and the High Peak and Dunwich Heath in Suffolk as case studies. The first booklet is a navigation guide for enhancing wayfinding through new signage and digital maps. The second is an education guide, exploring a range of methods for telling the past, present and future stories of rural sites. The third is a guide for engaging with the public, by testing different wayfinding and interactive story ideas and gathering feedback.
These outputs have been shared with the regional National Trust team and will help them make the case for further investment into Mam Tor. Nationally, these outputs seek to enrich the visitor experience of rural National Trust Sites, while vitally protecting the special character of these treasured places.
Mentor: Howard Evans
Client: The National Trust
Location: Mam Tor, Peak District, UK
Students: Ella Murrell, Harry Phillips, Tyler Muhebwa, Emily Straw, Molly Bessell, Evelin Putri, Sarah Carson, Andy Chadwick, Lewis Endersby, Ragni Chari, Jiabo Dong, Yuchen Yang, Tangwei Zheng.