Take a walk on the wild side as new immersive trail is launched
Have you ever been on a walk exploring the countryside, wondered what that bird is or why the landscape looks like that and thought: “I wish we had a walking guide with us!”
Well, dream no longer, because Seven Sisters Country Park has a brand-new guided audio trail for visitors that will help people learn about the incredible landscape and its flora and fauna.
The Cuckmere Accessible Audio Trail connects people with the sights, sounds and seasonal changes of this breathtaking coastal gem that’s home to dozens of species, such as chiffchaffs, kingfishers, adonis blue butterflies, and yellow horned poppies.
Perfect for people of all fitness and mobility levels, the trail follows the Cuckmere Miles Without Stiles route along flat concrete, gravel and grass paths.
Walkers simply need to scan a QR code – conveniently located on public benches – to tune in to an immersive audio that delves into the wonderful wildlife at the country park.
The free audio trail is the latest offering at the East Sussex site, which has seen £2m of renovations over the past three years since the National Park Authority took over ownership and management.
Dawn Nelson, Place and Interpretation Officer for the National Park, has helped to develop the trail and was excited to be the first to try out the walk.
Dawn said: “It’s a really wonderful walk with some beautiful scenery and this audio trail adds an extra dimension that helps you immerse yourself in the landscape even more.
“As you travel along the trail you can listen to five unique audios with commentary and soundscapes. Egrets fishing in the salt marsh, crickets stridulating under the dark night skies and skylarks trilling – these are all the stars of this show!
“If you’re down at Seven Sisters this summer, do give it a go!”
And Dawn added: “We’re committed to ensuring the National Park is accessible for all. This audio trail is an opportunity for those who are partially sighted to experience the wonders of the Park through audio. Each recording also comes in a video format with subtitles, giving access to those who may have auditory impairment.”
The country park now boasts a fully-refurbished visitor centre crammed with interesting displays and activities, as well as fully accessible toilets, a grab and go food outlet, water stations, new recycling facilities and dog poo bins. Further refurbishments to buildings on the 280-hectare site will be completed later this year.
Since taking over the country park in 2021, the National Park has been working to improve the habitat to help wildlife thrive, including the introduction of Sussex cattle breed to help manage the delicate chalk grassland. As the chalk grassland has become richer and more wildflowers have sprung up, rangers have noticed greater numbers of birds, including large flocks of Dunlin and roosting oystercatchers, as well as sightings of curlew sandpipers, Little Stint, Black-tailed godwit, redshank, ringed plover and whimbrel. A rare invertebrate, the Sea Aster mining bee, has also been spotted.