Following on from existing work with the Sensory Trust on the Eden Project,
which involved the creation of Accessible Information and signage, Widgit
Software again collaborated with the Sensory Trust - this time working
with the National Trust at the Stourhead Estate in Wiltshire.
Stourhead Sensory Trail
Sensory Trail booklet and signage
Pages from the guide
Braille and symbol tree signage
The National Trust, in conjunction with the Sensory Trust, the Swindon
Coalition for the Disabled and North Somerset People First, has launched a
new trail which improves the visitor experience at the gardens of the
Stourhead Estate. The project was to design a trail to guide visitors
through the garden using touch, smell, sight and hearing. This is
particularly helpful to people who may have a range of disabilities. It is
a 'first' for the National Trust, one of the first sensory trails on this
scale for any garden in the UK and the holder of an 'Access for All' Award.
The trail guide was written so it could be enjoyed by a wide range of users:
children, parents, groups or individuals. There also needed to be a balance
between imparting information and allowing the visitor to explore. Widgit
Software worked on the project to bring the Widgit Literacy Symbols to both
the official guide and the signage in the gardens to assist people with
learning difficulties. For example, visitors are encouraged to feel the
stone pillars of the Temple of Flora, to smell the leaves of cedars, to
listen to natural spring water in the Grotto and to touch the rough trunk of
the Tulip Tree. In addition to Symbols, there are braille and audio
Heather Smith, the National Trust Head of Access for All, welcomed the
opening of the Stourhead Sensory Trail:
"We hope that this project, which is unique in its scope for a garden, will
make a real difference to visitors with a wide range of disabilities and can
become a template for other National Trust gardens."
The Sensory Trail will be freely available for visitors to Stourhead.
Booking is recommended on 01747 842012.