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Our experiences with traditional engagement activities such as volunteering and guided walks have been successful for many years. The Ribble Life Together project will enable us to build on this success and engage with a wider audience through new and exciting activities.

Following our research during the development phase we have decided that the Talking Rivers activities will take three forms:

Audio interpretation and guides

Oral history

Podcasts

Our audio interpretation will take the form of short audio clips which will be located at key points of interest around the catchment, for examples close to pieces of art or on our circular walks.

These clips will be accessible through QR codes or by using the WildKnowledge app which enables users to download a map of an area and then highlights points of interest encouraging app users to visit the area. By integrating this form of interpretation into other activities such as our geocaching and circular walks, we will enhance the activities and make the user experience more special and unique.

Oral history is a valuable source of information about the local heritage and as part of Talking Rivers we have been speaking to local history societies to find out more about the local social, cultural, and industrial heritage associated with the rivers of the Ribble catchment.

One example of this are the many mills and factories in the area that have been developed from water mills, this type of feature has been hidden or transformed and are now used for different purposes. Hearing about this history from enthusiasts, experts and people who have experienced these changes first hand is a powerful way to bring history to life!

Following discussions with a range of people with different backgrounds and interests, we discovered that when visiting rivers some people want to simply enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

As a solution to this we have planned to release a series of podcasts which will be readily available for download and can be listened to anytime. Some of the suggested podcast topics include water quality and quantity, habitat quality and connectivity, volunteering, river heritage, and the people of the Ribble. These podcasts will explore topics more deeply than the audio interpretation and oral history and will be made available in complimentary documents such as transcripts to ensure the podcasts can be enjoyed by everyone!