Capital Woodlands - audience development

The Sensory Trust carried out community consultation to develop access and Audience Development Plans for six woodland sites in the Greater London area, as part of the planning stage of an HLF bid by the Capital Woodlands Project.

Targeted groups included local disability groups, minority ethnic communities, older people, ‘friends’ groups, youth groups and schoolchildren. We engaged with approximately 600 people over the course of the project using a range of inclusive engagement techniques. The Place Mapping tool was one such technique used as it works well with a wide range of ages, visitor profiles, user activities and levels of connection with the sites. This is a flexible technique that allows people to express their current relationship with a site (whether as a member of staff, user or non-user) and their wishes for developing that relationship (through a wider range of activities or improved maintenance plans, for example) through the use of words, pictorial symbols, drawings placed onto a basic site map. Besides the evaluation tools we also carried out on-site questionnaires with woodland users on site, such as dog walkers, parents with children under five, and retired people.

The project was successful in receiving around £1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund in December 2005.


Undertaking community consultation

Wendy Brewin talks with local people as part of the community engagement