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  • Rob Whitney

Visualising BioCultural Heritage Tourism

What is BioCultural Heritage Tourism? What does it mean? And how is it relevant to North Devon? More importantly, why does it need ‘visualising’?

Picture this: an area of world-class natural value (designated by UNESCO — the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organization) demonstrating the best examples of people working in harmony with nature for the benefit of all.

That all sounds fantastic. But, what does it look like in practice?

North Devon Biosphere BioCultural Heritage Tourism

Enter the North Devon Biosphere BioCultural Heritage Tourism Project (BCHT). A collaboration between inhabitants, businesses and environmental managers to create experimental activities that celebrate the connections between humans and nature distinctive to the local area and cultural heritage.

The main aims of the project were to:

  1. Conserve the natural sites by managing the tourism flow and improving the experience of visitors

  2. Raise awareness and involvement in the programme with local businesses

  3. Create a diversified visitor offer for biocultural tourism destinations

And it all came to a grand conclusion with the Eductour Event at the end of June 2021.

Bringing the Eductour to Life

The event itself offered a sample of some of the creative BCHT experiences available, incorporating a good spread of what is being developed here in North Devon. In short, a celebration of how we can more closely connect to this stunning landscape through art, wellbeing experiences, nature interpretation, traditional heritage and culture tied intrinsically to the land and sea.

But, with travel restrictions still lingering, attendance from the French partner Biospheres was unfortunately impossible.

This is where NDMI’s involvement in the Eductour event began.

We were approached by the North Devon Biosphere to help bring to life some of the experiences in the Eductour programme of events for those unable to attend in person.

In effect, visualising BioCultural Heritage Tourism.

We loved the premise of the project. The programme of events was exciting and interesting. So, we jumped at the chance to be a part of the experience, feeling extremely privileged to get the opportunity to tell some amazing stories and create some insightful films for the Eductour.

Five Films. One Fantastic Experience.

As a team here at North Devon Moving Image, working on the Eductour project, we got to learn about the unique carbon-neutral mechanics that drive the Lynton and Lynmouth Water-Powered Cliff Railway. We captured the thrill of exploring nature with the North Devon Biosphere’s Nature Backpacks, as well as seeing some Traditional Stone Walling in practice, and witnessing the process of Charcoal-making with a portable kiln, and the creation of Handcrafted Gin made from local ingredients.

It was as revelatory as it was enjoyable.

Of course, we could tell you all about the films we made and about everything we learned from the different BioCultural Heritage Tourism experiences. But, it’s definitely better for you to see for yourself.

Check out our five Eductour films below.

Feel free to comment and let us know what you think too. Especially if you learn something new!

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