Braunton Explorers are handheld multimedia devices that are gps controlled to give tours at three locations.
The first, called Braunton on the Move, covers Braunton’s industrial past and how it has evolved through farming, shipping and the railway into the village we see today. The second, called Shifting Sands, covers North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve and world-class Braunton Burrows, the story of which unfolds at Saunton Sands. The third, D-Day and Dunes, explores the history of military training at the southern end of Braunton Burrows and highlights the area's importance in preparation for the D-Day landings.
Hiring an Explorer
During term time, Explorers are available for group hire from Braunton School and Community College. For more details, please call 01271 812221.
At certain times of the year, the Explorers are available to hire from Saunton beach shop. Located close to Braunton and with access to miles of beautiful sandy beach, this location is an ideal base from which to explore. Find out more, and from Braunton Countryside Centre. The Countryside Centre is located in the centre of Braunton with ample car parking. For more information, please call 01271 817171.
Developing the Experiences
Explore Braunton has worked closely with Node Explore Ltd to develop this exciting element of the project. Node has previously partnered with the National Trust at Stourhead Gardens in Wiltshire and the Timespan Project in Sutherland.
This summer, 2009, Node has gone on to deliver multimedia experiences at the Eden Project, London Zoo and Kew Gardens, in addition to Explore Braunton.
Designing the Content
In the planning stages, a great many ideas came to light. Not only were a variety of tour routes suggested, but a seemingly endless supply of information to include on them was forthcoming! It was painstakingly scaled down to a manageable level and, after much wrangling, two tour routes were decided upon. It was felt essential that one tour started and finished in the centre of the village and this, along with the satisfaction of many other criteria, led to the development of the Braunton on the Move tour.
A second tour was needed and, although several locations were considered, Saunton Sands was decided upon. Apart from its proximity to the Burrows and the magnetism it naturally exerts, this tour location was particularly favoured by school groups, who routinely use the area for their fieldwork.
Funding was later secured for the third tour, D Day and the Dunes.
Node often produce the multimedia content themselves but, due to budget limitations, we decided to do it all ‘in-house’. The local community was very helpful; some marvellous local characters were interviewed, a great variety of pictures were sourced, archive films were unearthed and the scripts written.
Without the services of Kingfisher Multimedia, however, the ideas for the content wouldn’t have got off the drawing board! After a lot of hard work, the various elements combined to make a satisfying end result. With the help of Go Moving Media, the content was uploaded to Node’s system and the devices were ready for testing.
We hope to add to the Braunton Explorers in future, with new tours or new elements to the existing tours. For more details of Kingfisher Multimedia, please see their web-site.