Northumberland National Park’s exciting new ‘Digital Landscapes’ exhibition is now open at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.
Launched on 2 July and running until 30 September, Digital Landscapes is an innovative exhibition and events programme showcasing how digital technology can be used to help gain a deeper understanding and enjoyment of landscape and the natural world.
Using pioneering interactive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, the exhibition brings the beauty of the National Park and its treasures to life for visitors, making Northumberland’s wild landscapes accessible to all.
Divided into three main sections, ‘Digital for Adventure’, ‘Digital for Learning’ and ‘Digital for Conservation’, the exhibition showcases the benefits that new technologies have had on tourism and leisure and land management and conservation.
Digital for Adventure uses immersive virtual reality to enable visitors to explore hidden areas of the National Park through newly-commissioned, interactive 360-degree films.
The ultra-high definition films transport visitors to ancient hill forts and beautiful hay meadows offering new perspectives and making these typically hard to reach areas of Northumberland National Park accessible to everyone.
Digital for Learning uses augmented reality and pioneering photogrammetry to create a detailed, 3D virtual museum showcasing archaeological finds from within the National Park and artefacts from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, as well as virtual models of some of the Park’s unique wildlife. Visitors can also get hands-on and play in an augmented reality topographic sandbox to create their own landscapes.
The final section of the exhibition, Digital for Conservation explores how the National Park uses digital technology to aid conservation and showcase how the Park’s own data collection and mapping tools allow the Authority to care for our unique landscape.
“We’re absolutely delighted at how well the Digital Landscapes exhibition has come together,” said Dr Sarah Glynn, head of visitor development and engagement.
“We have already welcomed hundreds of visitors to the exhibition and all of the feedback we have received has been extremely positive. The virtual reality films and the topographic sandbox in particular have been a big hit so far!
“We are extremely proud of what we have created with Digital Landscapes at The Sill and we’re looking forward to welcoming many more visitors throughout the summer.”
The Digital Landscapes exhibition is supplemented by an innovative events programme which expands on the concepts covered within the exhibition space about using digital technology for exploration and learning.
New for the summer 2018 event calendar, ‘Minecraft on the Wall’ is one of the highlights of the Digital Landscapes programme where visitors can build a virtual version of Hadrian’s Wall with Electro Cat Studios using a Raspberry Pi to learn more about how Roman architects and engineers constructed Hadrian’s Wall. For adventurers, there is also an escorted e-bike tour of Hadrian’s Wall country taking place in August where visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the Wall and the countryside around The Sill.
Named after the nearby Great Whin Sill, The Sill is the result of an innovative partnership between Northumberland National Park Authority, YHA (England & Wales) and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through a £7.8 million grant made possible by National Lottery players.
Featuring fixed and temporary exhibitions, learning and event spaces, a 90-seater café, YHA accommodation, a gift shop packed with locally-sourced gifts and produce as well as a world-first, fully accessible Whin Sill Grassland roof, The Sill provides the perfect location for people to explore and enjoy some of the region’s most spectacular unspoilt scenery.