Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Project Leads

Mike King

Resources for Change has undertaken Audience Development Plans (ADP) for a range of purposes such as Development stage of a Landscape Partnership Scheme, as in the case of Watercress & Winterbournes, and / or development of parks or heritage sites. An ADP identifies current and potential audiences, describes current awareness of and engagement with the asset. It seeks to define the most effective ways of providing opportunities for the priority audiences to be involved, e.g. accessing, learning about and better understanding landscape and heritage, as well as contributing in practical ways to its conservation and enhancement.

A piece of work for Kent Wildlife Trust looked at how Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve usage and facilities could meet the needs of the local communities more effectively whilst retaining its thriving wildlife and status as a popular destination for many. This reserve pioneered approaches to restoring gravel workings for wildlife under the guidance of author and naturalist Jeffrey Harrison. R4C were asked to undertake research with both visitors and the surrounding community to help determine the best approaches for the future.

A welcoming and interesting stand attracted the attention of visitors to this popular reserve during an open day, which had been well publicised. Not only were they asked about their views on the facilities available, but several joined the Trust, and some decided to become volunteers, too. Engagement and consultation continued at several public locations which helped to provide information on the breadth and reach of public awareness and barriers to participation. Results were analysed; findings and conclusions were presented so that the Trust was able to make informed decisions with clear evidence on the existing and potential audience, as well as ways to increase engagement and participation.