Visitors to Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, a popular National Trust property and World Heritage Site in Ripon, are now able to learn the songs of popular British birds through an innovative, interactive audio installation.
The fun and educational TouchPosts were designed and manufactured by Leeds-based Sound Leisure. Originally installed as part of the Easter trail activities, they proved so popular the National Trust team decided on a permanent installation.
The solar-powered wooden posts invite visitors to touch a laser engraved image to hear the song of three British birds, the blackbird, robin and chaffinch which are all regular visitors to the garden. The birds were chosen by the wildlife team at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal and users can then take the short walk from the TouchPosts to the bird hide, to see if they can spot or hear the real thing.
Rosie Dods, Visitor Experience Assistant at Fountains Abbey, comments:
“Initially launched to entertain children visiting the site, we’ve noticed many of our adult visitors also enjoying the TouchPosts along with our younger visitors, which is so great to see. Everyone enjoys learning which songs go with which type of bird and we specifically chose common birds which can be spotted both in our grounds and in our visitors own gardens.”
Mike Black, Director at Sound Leisure, adds:
“It was great to be involved with The National Trust on this project. Sound Leisure develop a wide range of interactive experiences for clients, utilising our powerful SoundStage range of products. But projects such as this are always the most challenging due to the sensitive environments in which they are installed. The TouchPost design is both visually and environmentally in-tune with its environment, powered by solar power and constructed from natural materials which weather and change, season after season.
“TouchPosts are ideal for providing an element of fun or informative interaction for visitors and the audio content can be easily changed, so diverse content can be presented to customers using a single installation. The posts are designed to be extremely low maintenance and highly durable, so they can be enjoyed in even the most remote locations without spoiling the view.”
Sound Leisure is an integrated manufacturer and innovator of sound-based products. The business is one of only two classic jukebox manufacturers in the world and the only company producing vinyl-playing jukeboxes, 75% of sales are exports. Further sub-groups of the business include SLKids, suppliers of children distraction areas and TouchPost. The business employs 80 people at its Leeds production facility and a further five staff in Nottingham.