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Author (up) Karlsdottir, B.; O'Brien, L.,
Title How mobile apps can draw families to the forest Type
Year 2021 Publication The 10th MMV Conference: Managing outdoor recreation experiences in the Anthropocene – Resources, markets, innovations Abbreviated Journal
Volume MINA fagrapport Issue Pages 324-325
Keywords MMV10
Abstract Forestry England has a history of producing chil-drens activity trails at their forest sites based on popular media characters such as Zog and Stick-man. The aim of these trails is to engage children and families with the forest through forest-based activities with stories which are meaningful to children. For a recent trail based on Shaun the Sheep (an animated film by Aardman Animations), Forestry England partnered with Sport England to also encourage increased physical activity. Some of the trails have been app-based, using technology to provide visitors with chal-lenges and fun interactive and augmented reality elements. Activity packs are sold on site with stickers and activity booklets linked with the apps which are free. Signposts or statues of characters provide clues along the trails. Previous surveys have shown that the trails, especially the Gruffalo Spotters in 2017, have brought a high number of visitors to the forest. Encouraging increased visits to forest sites and other natural environments brings multiple, phys-ical, psychological and social benefits to visi-tors (OBrien et al., 2011; Houlden et al., 2018; Twohig-Bennett and Jones, 2018). Further bene-fits can be gained from undertaking physical activ-ity in forest settings (OBrien, 2019).The Forestry England trails are targeted at younger age-groups, usually ranging somewhere between 3-12 years. With mental disorders among children and young people on the rise (NHS, 2018), coupled with concerns about childrens lack of engagement with nature, it is important to design interventions for children that provide opportunities for nature-based social interactions, physical activities and cognitive res-toration. The Forestry England trails provide such opportunities through designing attractive mo-bile apps based on much loved childrens charac-ters. Time used by children on electronic media is negatively correlated with time spent in nature and connectedness to nature, and can lead to physical and psychological health prob-lems (Larson et al., 2019). However, the two are not mutually exclusive and Human-Computer Interactions (HCI) technology can improve both time spent in nature and connectedness to na-ture. Exploratory technology such as the Forestry England apps help “encourage children to ex-plore outdoors in nature” (Anggarendra and Brereton, 2016)
Call Number Serial 4344
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