The WDT is a guided woodland exploration which provides interpretation and learning
opportunities along a woodland route. The Trail encompasses life and living processes
common to all woodlands and also introduces the concepts of sustainability and timber
use. It can readily be adapted to suit any type of woodland in any area. Learning
through personal observation is a key feature of the Trail activities, all of which
are organized and directed by the group leader’s Q3 Ranger. Far from being a substitute
for first-hand experience of the Natural World, the Q3 Rangers stimulate enthusiasm,
direct and focus attention and activity, while also allowing topics to be further
explored in the field.
Q3 Rangers have been developed as a cost-effective method of delivering high quality,
environmental education to expanded audiences. They are the brainchild of Stephen
Lawson, the Director of Offwell Woodland & Wildlife Trust, the charity which runs
the Woodland Education Centre. Stephen comments "This technology is the single biggest
advance which I have seen in over 20 years experience of countryside education and
interpretation. It harnesses the enormous entertainment value of computers and uses
them as a valuable tool for outdoor learning. It also removes many of the barriers
to self-led, educational visits by automatically ensuring that even unskilled group
leaders know where they are, where to go and what to do, when they get there."
The content for the WDT has been developed using decades of experience of delivering
science-based, environmental education to groups of all ages, levels and abilities
at the Woodland Education Centre. It is also based on considerable experience of
what works well in digital learning resources, acquired through the production of
the Trust’s extensive web site (www.countrysideinfo.co.uk). This receives up to 1.5
million hits a month and is linked to by universities, colleges, schools and organisations
from countries all over the world. Dr Barbara Corker, the Trust’s Education Officer
says "This level of web site use is no accident. The web site content is based on
a sound understanding of the environment, the practicalities of environmental education
and the needs of teachers and other educators. "
The WDT has been developed by the same production team and has been extensively tested
with a wide range of user groups. The Trail has been described as "Ace" by visiting
youngsters, while the Q3 Rangers have been deemed "as cool as my Nintendo!". Dr Corker
adds "The retention of the information presented on the WDT is nothing short of remarkable
and the activity has also proved to be particularly good at engaging the attention
of poor learners in a group."
Q3 Rangers are about to revolutionize woodland and countryside education and interpretation.
They are a highly effective tool which can be used to captivate modern audiences
at any outdoor site in Britain. More information on the Woodland Discovery Trail
and on Q3 Rangers can be found at www.q3rangers.co.uk
Press release ends.
16th November 2007
Highly sophisticated, outdoor, multimedia guides called Q3 Rangers are set to revolutionize
interpretation of woodlands and sustainability nation-wide. Q3 Rangers are rugged,
hand-held computers which operate using a unique software system and the very latest
in GPS hardware. They are being used to deliver Sat-Nav-guided, educational activities
to self-led school and educational groups.
A number of innovative Q3 Ranger trails and activities have been developed at the
award-winning and progressive Woodland Education Centre in Devon. The ‘Woodland Discovery
Trail’ (WDT), which has been in practical use at the Centre over the past two years,
is the first of these to be offered to UK educational markets as a ready-to-run package.
It is endorsed by the International Tree Foundation.
Q3 Rangers automatically deliver advanced, multimedia presentations, combined with
directions for hands-on, educational activities at selected points. Location information
and route guidance are seamlessly combined with the educational content so that group
leaders can’t get lost and can unerringly find the learning points. The system enables
any approved person (teacher, classroom assistant, parent or volunteer) to easily
deliver expert, curriculum-based, environmental education to a consistently high