Interpretation – what’s not to enjoy?

Story: Myfanwy Millward / Image: © Interpret Europe

VisitMôr Director Beth Môrafon publishes feature in Interpret Europe Newsletter

Beth Môrafon’s approach to the redesign of Severn Valley Country Park Visitor Centre in Shropshire, was all about bringing joy and play into interpretation. She shared her ideas and inspiration in the autumn 2019 edition of the Interpret Europe Newsletter.

Severn Valley Country Park Visitor Centre

Stakeholders wanted the new Visitor Centre to be a place where children and adults could learn about conservation and sustainability through play. And putting “plenty of joy” into the space was one of their main aspirations. Môrafon was Lead Design on the project, whilst employed by WWT Consulting. Working with a small team, she shaped the design of the interpretation from concept to completion.

Learning through play

Môrafon writes in the IE newsletter that her designs were inspired by the learning philosophies of Montessori, Steiner and Reggio Emilia. Interactive games and exhibits draw on the principles devised by Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Hundred Languages of Children, which invite children (and adults) to learn in their own interactive way. From a kingfisher nest crawl to river-themed board game, Môrafon and the team used a range of engaging activities to transform the space. To plan your trip to Severn Valley Country Park visit Shropshire’s Great Outdoors.

Further publications by Môrafon

Môrafon has also written papers for IE including a feature on the soft play she designed for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. And an article, Can Interpretation Change the World?, about attending her first Association of Heritage Interpretation (AHI) Conference in Belfast in 2016. Since then, she has presented at several AHI/IE Conferences and written a benchmark feature on pond interpretation for the AHI members journal.

More about Interpret Europe

Interpret Europe – the European Association for Heritage Interpretation, is an international membership-based association with charitable status. Its mission is to encourage dialogue between those who want to make natural and cultural heritage more meaningful to people. It publishes quarterly interpretation newsletters, holds annual conferences and has more than 1000 members from 55 countries.