The popular Happy Valley and Farthing Downs audio nature trail is now available in French, Hindi and Polish.
Led by Dominic North, Croydon Council’s Countryside Warden, Joanna Lumley, Tony Robinson, Benjamin Zephaniah and Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, are just some of the celebrities who volunteered their time to narrate sections of the trail which can be accessed by smartphones using QR codes on 29 marker posts.
The English version was launched in September 2020 alongside a 64-page booklet, although a celebration to launch this could not take place due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Last month a launch event was held in Happy Valley and Farthing Downs to celebrate the trail and thank the many volunteers, including council staff, who have helped to create and translate the trail.
Happy Valley is a nature reserve sitting at the very south of the borough, bordering with Surrey of over 250 acres of downland grass and wooded slopes. Alongside its natural beauty, the reserve holds significant nature conservation value for its extensive chalk, grassland and ancient woodland habitats, home to a wide variety of plant, invertebrates, animal and tree species.
Dominic North, said: “This event marked the culmination of two years hard work by the Friends group and by over 50 volunteers who kindly gave their time to translate the nature trail into their own languages, and to record their voices.
“We very much hope that the new trail will allow people from all areas of our community to enjoy the special landscape and wildlife of Happy Valley and Farthing Downs.”
Councillor Muhammad Ali, cabinet member for sustainable Croydon
“This is fantastic work from Dominic and all those who have volunteered. The whole project is a fine example of cross-partnership working between Croydon, the City of London Corporation and the Friends and I hope these imaginative resources bring a whole new audience to our treasured area.
Thank you to all of those who have spent time volunteering, thanks to you all our countryside is more inclusive and appealing to minority groups from all backgrounds.”
The audio-trail is now live in the four languages and you can access it here, which also features a text version of the trail.