Jersey Lavender Farm
Whenever we write an audio guide script, we think largely about the content that visitors will listen to. But it’s also important to think about what other senses an audio experience can engage.
If you’re visiting the island of Jersey any time between mid-June and mid-August, you should stop in for a visit at Jersey Lavender. This is the time when the lavender is being harvested from the fields and processed in the on-site distillery. And it smells fantastic.
Even though it’s a working farm, visitors are welcome to wander the extensive fields of purple lavender, the heady steam of the distilling room and behind the scenes in the bottling lab. Not only is a visit to Jersey Lavender an intriguing insight into how this product is made, almost everything there smells fabulous.
Challenge: The staff at Jersey Lavender pride themselves on their guided tours of the site, but during the peak summer months (when the island and the farm are both at their busiest) they have to balance talking with visitors and their core role of working the farm. The lavender needs to be processed in a comparatively short period.
That’s when they approached ATS to help them with their visitor flow at peak time. We immersed ourselves in the working farm, watching what went on there, talking to the expert workers, harnessing their stories and their enthusiasm for the site and their products. And then we turned that content into an audio tour.
Today, when the site is busy, visitors can get the bulk of the core tour information (some scientific, some technical, some incongruous for a few lighter moments) from an audio wand.
Solution: We were keen not to replicate the job of the excellent tour guides, however, so we were sure to direct visitors to ask questions, as and when staff were free to talk.
And we engaged visitors senses with the space
… the smell of the lavender, the rosemary and other products growing on the farm
… the bubbling and hissing of the distillery … and the quiet of the fields
… the feel of lavender on your fingers as you wander the rows
… the delicious tastes to enjoy in the café and shop at the end of the visit
The audio tour at Jersey Lavender is an example of an interpretive device we created to compliment a visit to a site and to enhance its heritage assets, rather than one that takes over and dominates the visitor experience. We hope that by provoking visitors’ senses, they can engage more deeply with the site, taking a moment of aromatic calm with them as they continue their holiday on Jersey.