Brockhill Case Study


Brockhill Case Study
Brockhill Country Park Interpretation Plan and
Client: Kent County Council, Country Parks
Brockhill Country Park, a family orientated country park near
Folkestone in Kent, has a great deal of history associated with it, the
most visible layer being the Victorian ‘Woodland Wilderness’ garden,
with exotic planting and constructed lakes and waterfalls.
Although the Victorian alterations changed the landscape and
introduced non-native species, it also created conditions for locally rare
species, and the park is also a Local Wildlife Site. Many of these species
are invertebrates. The park is one of the most important sites in Kent
for cranefly and ‘true flies’, along with a very uncommon lacewing. It is
also important for ferns, lichens and bryophytes due to the cool, moist conditions created by the water
cascades. Conveying the biodiversity importance of these species, which are not obvious to most visitors,
was a key interpretation challenge.
The first stage of the project was to produce an interpretation
plan. Interpretation needed to be tailored to the current visitor
profile, with a high proportion of families with young children,
older generation visitors as well as a higher level of visitors with
disabilities compared with other Kent country parks. Repeat
visitation was also characteristic and therefore interchangeable
interpretation was proposed to maintain interest over repeat visits.
The interpretation plan assessed the key interpretation ‘stories’ of
the site, set out a series of learning, behavioural and emotional
objectives for the interpretation and then identified a range of
fully costed interpretative options. It also contained an access
The production of this plan enabled funding for the project to be secured and the second phase of the
commission was to produce interpretation installations. These included six interpretation boards, linking
the key stories of the site. Signal posts with two removable arms were installed for children of all ages. A
range of large, eye-catching image boards were installed in the limited space available in the café to
provoke interest and inspire visitors to
explore the site further. A nature trail
leaflet was also designed and produced.
In order to make the subject of invertebrates
more ‘real’ for visitors, especially younger
children, a series of high quality close up
photographs were used.
The key theme for the site was ferns, which
linked a key element of the Victorian
woodland garden and the special biodiversity
importance of the site.
8 Herts Crescent, Loose, Maidstone, Kent ME15 0AX
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Tel: 00 44 (0) 1622 743146
Blackwood Bayne is the trading name of Sharon Bayne BSc MSc MIEEM