Audio visual technology to educate visitors of all ages at Hengistbury Head visitor centre

UPDATE: Mayor of Bournemouth Cllr Rod Cooper officially opens the new visitor centre at Hengistbury Head. He is pictured with Mayoress Elaine Cooper and Stuart Clarke, countryside manager

UPDATE: Mayor of Bournemouth Cllr Rod Cooper officially opens the new visitor centre at Hengistbury Head. He is pictured with Mayoress Elaine Cooper and Stuart Clarke, countryside manager

First published in News by

AUDIO-visual technology is set to educate visitors of all ages about Bournemouth’s historic Hengistbury Head.

Beaulieu-based specialist DJ Willrich has just completed the AV installation at the new Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre.

It was appointed by Bournemouth Borough Council to install equipment in the £1m eco-friendly building.

The equipment includes monitors to stream live footage and audio from hidden cameras observing wildlife in the nature reserve. There are study stations and a weather station, using touch screen monitors, phone handsets and interactive PCs.

Hengistbury Head boasts evidence of human occupation dating back to 10,500 BC and has been designated a scheduled ancient monument, a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Project lead Mike Hope said the biggest challenge for the company was fitting the plethora of audio-visual hardware into the relatively small space of the converted barn.

He said: “The size of the building did make various elements of the AV installation a challenge – for example, it was difficult to stop sound from speakers spilling out into other areas of the barn.

“To tackle this problem we installed directional speakers in the ceiling to project the audio over a very specific area only.

“Close liaison and clever planning with the project designers, Querceus, also ensured we fitted in the 14 monitors without problem.”

The visitor centre, which has a grass roof and walls insulated with straw, features displays, study zones, videos, podcasts, trails, talks, walks and booklets.

Pictures from the wildlife webcams can be recorded for playback on digital video players, so footage from active times of the year can be screened when the animals are less active. A 3D model of the headland is displayed in two courtyards outside the visitor centre, while an outdoor LCD screen shows information relevant to visiting schools and groups.

Mark Holloway, countryside operations manager for Bournemouth Parks, who oversaw the project, said: “DJW did an excellent job and overcame any many challenges in their path.

“The service support after installation and willingness to make changes has exceeded our expectations.”

The visitor centre opened last year and reopened last Saturday following a winter break. It will have its grand launch on April 12.

Other projects with which DJW has been involved include The View from the Shard, Belfast’s Titanic Experience, World of Top Gear at Beaulieu and the National Football Museum in Manchester.

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