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Developing Self-Guided Trails

Resource Development – Self-guided trails

Graham, B. (1998) Environmental Education in Botanic Gardens Training Course, Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden, South Africa

Using self guided trails

What is a trail?

-it involves a journey, sometimes the route is prescribed

-often uses a map

-at set points questions/ tasks / information are provided

Why use trails?

-stimulating, good fun

-encouraging observation/exploration

-self-directed, therefore no staff required

-working as small groups (less congestion of people in one place at one time)

-encourages people to use less used areas of the garden

What makes a good trail?

-clear and appropriate map

-simple route that can be easily followed

-ways of indicating to people they are in the correct location e.g. signs, photographs

-questions/tasks which can be carried out without support form staff

-flexibility in use

-a sense of fun (e.g. use of certificates, quizzes)

What needs to be considered when using trails?

-time taken to complete trail

-level of difficulty

-access for people with disabilities

-organisation / supervision of school group safety