Iona Tree 1 web new
Tour guide Iona

New mobile app aims to get Somerset walking and talking about climate change

TODAY sees the launch of an new, free mobile app called Somerset Trails which has been designed to help people explore the impacts of climate change.

Designed by partnership project Co-Adapt, Somerset Trails is funded by the Somerset Rivers Authority and the EU’s Intereg 2Seas Programme.

The app combines walking maps with video-guided tours, including a section specially designed for children.

While on the trail, video content filmed on location is triggered at key points, featuring tour guides including Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Shelly Easton.

The content includes information about landscape features, climate change and how nature-based solutions can be used to help us adapt.

First trail

The first trail to be launched begins in the centre of Wedmore, taking in breathtaking views across the Somerset Levels, and meanders through meadows, past dew ponds and over historic ridge and furrow field systems.

Later in the summer, a second trail will be launched by the National Trust, featuring behind-the-scenes footage of one of their most intriguing projects – beaver re-introduction and stage zero river restoration on Exmoor.

For younger walkers on the Wedmore trail, eight-year-old tour guide Iona leads the way in a section called Kids Corner. She said: “I think people are going to have a lot of fun coming on the walk, and they’re going to learn lots about climate change and what people are doing about it in Somerset.”

Scary issue

Jolyon Chesworth, Head of Engagement at Somerset Wildlife Trust, said: “Climate change is a scary issue and sometimes so overwhelming that as individuals we can feel helpless.

“By following the trails on the app we can help people explore some of Somerset’s most beautiful areas and learn about how nature can help us adapt to what is coming if we look after it.

“As a dad I sometimes find it hard to talk to my children about climate change. It will affect their lives and they need to learn about it so they can be part of the solution, but equally we don’t want to scare them.

“Having Iona as a tour guide is brilliant in terms of inspiring the next generation in their own language to take action and find innovative solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.

Hope and optimism

“Hearing from those who are already taking action is really inspiring and gives us hope and optimism, as well as practical tips on what we can all do to contribute to a brighter future.”

 Throughout the walks, people will be invited to add their thoughts and ideas, which will help the project teams develop climate adaptation plans with the community voice at their heart.

Somerset Trails can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

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