The pandemic and ongoing conversation around the impact of global warming, is turning our attention towards nature once more. As consumers, we are eating less meat, choosing eco-friendly products and shifting our moral compass – in an attempt to find a better balance for the rest of the living world.
In return, we are wanting a more restorative relationship with nature around us. This relationship is called Nature Connectedness.
The National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ is a perfect example of nature connectedness in visitor attractions. It compels children and their parents/carers to engage with their:
Senses – tuning in to nature through the senses
Emotion – feeling alive through the emotions and feelings nature brings
Beauty – noticing nature’s beauty
Meaning – nature bringing meaning to our lives
Compassion – caring and taking action for nature
These are the fundamental ways of humans better connecting with nature, as discovered by the Nature Connectedness Research Group at the University of Derby – the nearby University to the Katapult studios, and the thought-leaders in this field.
5 visitor attraction examples
We’ve been proud to work with visitor attractions that have put nature at the heart of their experience, providing guests with a greater relationship with nature. Here’s just five projects we’ve worked on.
#1 – National Food Museum
We were proud to work alongside the Museum of East Anglian Life to deliver an ambitious branding and concepts project which will see them transform into a national visitor centre, dedicated to food.
The National Food Museum will take visitors on a food journey; from field to fork. Through exploring the Suffolk based museum visitors will have the chance to “Grow”, “Make” and “Eat” the food that ends up on their plates at home. The aim is that people understand where their food comes from, and leave wanting to make a positive change to their eating habits. Find out more.
#2 – The Wildlife Trust
We worked with The Wildlife Trust to rejuvenate a listed railway building in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as re-designing the existing cafe, we also worked to create a discovery centre for children to increase dwell time and a shopping area that increased spending.
The family-friendly rooms focused on reflecting the nature and wildlife surrounding the building while encouraging children to dress up and take part in creative and educational play. Find out more.
#3 – SEA LIFE London
As approved Merlin Entertainments suppliers, we were delighted to deliver a new experience at SEA LIFE London Aquarium. The aquarium is visited by millions of global visitors every year, and we were engaged to create concepts for a ‘British Coastline’ themed experience. The experience needed to wow and educate guests on the 12,500 km of coastline and thousands of species that habitat there.
We created immersive video wall content that showed the day in the life of the natural environment and complemented this with a wall of educational facts about creatures on the coast. Find out more.
#4 – Findern Playground
For our Helping Hands project 2020 we were proud to work with a local primary school in our home city of Derby, UK, to create a unique and multi-sensory playground for pupils, parents and teachers to enjoy together.
The Playground’s main goal was to provide a fun and interactive outdoor experience that would support the development of motor skills, communication and connection to nature, including herb and vegetable gardens. Find out more.
#5 – Portmagee Visitor Centre
We are delighted to have been appointed as designers on a new whiskey experience in Ireland. The Portmagee Whiskey Experience and Seine Boat Visitor Centre in County Kerry will celebrate the region’s historical relationships with smugglers, fishermen and other local tales.
The main experience is set to feature a 360-degree immersive cinematic experience, set within a geodesic dome, where guests will be able to experience life on the seas of the wild Atlantic Ocean. Find out more.