Farm introduces interactive signs explaining more about the surrounding countryside

One of the QR codes providing an interactive experience for visitors to Hammonds End Farm in Harpenden.

One of the QR codes providing an interactive experience for visitors to Hammonds End Farm in Harpenden. - Credit: Hammonds End Farm

A Harpenden farm is bringing technology to the traditional countryside sign.

The team at Hammonds End Farm have taken the idea of a walk in the countryside one step further by introducing interactive QR code footpath markers.

It is hoped these will give visitors an ever-changing video story of what they are seeing at a particular part of the farm or during a particular time of year, helping them to understand what’s going on under their feet and in the fields around them.

The idea was sparked when Farmer Stuart Roberts started talking to members of the public who walked around the network of footpaths and permissive paths that crisscross his 300 acre farm in Hertfordshire, particularly during the Covid lockdowns.

Stuart said: “It was incredible to see so many people enjoying this part of the countryside that I am lucky enough to call my office. Often people would stop me and ask questions about what crop was growing in a particular field or where was the best place to spot a barn owl.

"As well as being a custodian of the countryside I also feel I have a duty to share it with others to help their fitness, mental wellbeing and their understanding of what farmers do in their fields and on their farms.

“By using QR codes located at various different places on the farm and by regularly updating the video content we are able to record videos during different seasons and focus on different aspects of farming ensuring an ever-changing content. We also plan to have a separate set of codes for children to scan with those videos aimed at our younger countryside visitors.”

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The first batch of codes have already been installed and can be enjoyed by anyone walking the paths of Hammonds End Farm right now.

Over the next few weeks, they will be reviewing, updating and expanding the content in the hope that by Easter Weekend anyone visiting this part of Hertfordshire can not only enjoy some exercise and stunning views of the Ver Valley but can also learn a bit more about where their food comes from and how farmers are looking after the countryside.