Audience development plan for the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve Jeffery Harrison Visitor Centre
This reserve pioneered approaches to restoring gravel workings for wildlife under the guidance of author and naturalist Jeffrey Harrison. There is now an interest in upgrading the visitor experience and R4C were appointed to undertake research with both visitors and the surrounding community to help determine the best approaches for the future.
In December 2015 and March & June 2016 we undertook an 'investigative consultation' process on the reserve and a couple of locations in Sevenoaks to with a pop up ‘engagement stalls.’ There was a good number of people who took part in giving information on their knowledge and experience of the reserve.
The research determined that there are five key categories of audience that need to be considered when planning to change or upgrade the facilities at the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve:
* Wildlife Interests
* Walking Interests
* Local Community
In the context of increasing visitor numbers, the real opportunity is provided by the local community. The Audience research has shown that there is considerable local interest in spending time in wildlife rich environments, although this time for most people is not necessarily spent watching the wildlife but appreciating it as a back drop to other activities such as spending time with friends and family, entertaining the children or walking.
This audience falls into two categories; families, particularly those with young children and other representatives of the local community; particularly older people and new residents. These groups have higher expectations as to the quality of facilities that an outdoor recreation venue such as a nature reserve should have. .
The R4C research team believe that the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve is very well placed to attract new people to nature. Key to making this a success are the promotional themes and the facilities, both of which need to be developed if the potential of the reserve is to be fully realised.
Contact Mike for more details