How to use the Toolkit
What is the Sense of Place Toolkit and what can it be used for?
The Sense of Place Toolkit is a collection of resources to help you benefit from the special qualities of Greensand Country. We use the word ‘toolkit’ because it is focused on practical outcomes. In the same way that a mechanic’s toolkit contains different tools for different jobs, the Sense of Place Toolkit can be adapted to your own specific needs and interests. You don’t need any special skills or expertise to use this Toolkit. All you need is a passion for your local area and a willingness to do some detective work or be creative!
The Toolkit isn’t intended to be read from cover to cover like a book. Instead, think of it as being like a ‘menu’ that you can choose from whenever you need some fresh ideas and inspiration.
You might like to use the Toolkit when:
- Creating publicity materials such as a leaflet, web page, advertisement, or social media post
- Informing your customers or visitors about your local area
- Developing a plan, proposal or strategy
- Providing training to your staff or colleagues
- Working with your local community
Deciding what’s relevant for you
The Sense of Place Toolkit is organised into different sections, each one focusing on a different aspect of Greensand Country:
- Discover what makes Greensand Country such a special place. Unlock the secrets of the landscape and learn about its unique natural and cultural heritage – from the important geology of the Greensand Ridge and its abundant wildlife, to the rich history of the area’s great country estates, idyllic churches and more.
- Experience a wide range of things to see and do. Take a leisurely amble around picturesque towns and villages; enjoy a trip out with friends and family to popular visitor
attractions; treat yourself to a delicious pub lunch or a cream tea at a traditional manor house; spend time shopping for quality local produce. There really is something for everyone.
- Explore the area’s popularity as a destination for outdoor pursuits – from its network of well-used footpaths, cycleways and bridleways, to its much-loved
Start by reading the introduction to each section and decide which are most relevant to you and your interests. Then move on to Step 2.
Planning and preparation
Each section of the Toolkit contains five types of information:
- An introduction, providing a short description of the section and what Greensand Country has to offer. You are welcome to use these summaries free of charge in your
own publicity materials. Click on the download links for copies of text in Microsoft Word format.
- Lists of places, activities and features that visitors might be interested in. These lists contain recommendations made by local people and organisations, so you can in turn be sure of recommending them to your own customers. You can also use the lists to quickly boost your local knowledge and learn more about your area.
- Things people say about Greensand Country, which can be used to help illustrate a particular activity or feature that you might like to promote to your customers (e.g… something from one of the lists). Visitors love to hear about places from local people and these quotes can be a great way of adding a ‘personal touch’ to how you communicate.
- Action points and ideas for simple things you can do to learn about and help support Greensand Country – and in doing so, add value to your business by making customers aware that you belong to a special landscape.
- Information and resources, including useful websites and contacts for obtaining more information about each topic.
You may have already decided which sections of the Toolkit are relevant to you. Now read over your chosen sections in detail and use some of the Action Points to put together a simple plan of what you’d like to do.
Using the Toolkit isn’t necessarily about doing new things from scratch. It’s often more important to look at what you are already doing and make simple improvements, perhaps just by doing things a bit differently: small steps, rather than giant leaps!
Here are two great ways to get started…
Include some information about Greensand Country and its special qualities in your own publicity materials, using the resources available in the Toolkit. This can be done very easily the next time you update your website, social media, printed literature and so on. By doing so, you’ll add a ‘sense of place’ to your publicity. People prefer to deal with organisations they can identify with and relate to – and promoting your local sense of place helps people to do this. If you are a business, it can also give you an advantage over competitors and encourage customers to place greater value on your products and services.
Get out and explore your local area for yourself. We often take for granted the special qualities of the place in which we live and work. Try looking afresh at your area and imagine you are visiting for the first time. What time is the shop open; what special produce is on the menu in the local pub; where’s best to go for a walk; are there any local stories that people like to tell; what breed are those cows in the field? Collect your own information about your area and use it when talking to customers or visitors. Share your knowledge and enthusiasm, make a connection and celebrate what’s special about your place.
There are lots of other simple steps you can take. Examples include:
If you are a business…
- Tell the story of your own family or business – and use this story to personalise your products and celebrate your own connection with Greensand Country.
- Source or develop materials to help your customers explore the area. Perhaps a map of your favourite local walks and places to visit; or an I-Spy sheet and other games for families with children.
- Consider the benefits of using local suppliers and produce next time you review your supply chain – and make a feature of these local links in your marketing.
If you are a community group…
- Use information from the Sense of Place Toolkit as a way of describing what’s special about your area to other people – it can help them understand the landscape better and what it has to offer; and it also helps to strengthen the Greensand Country ‘brand’.
- Set up a project exploring the sense of place of your local area. This can be a great way of bringing a community together and enabling everyone to share and celebrate
what’s special about their place.
- Keep a record of information that might be useful for updating the Sense of Place Toolkit in future. This is your place and we want to know why it’s special to you! Photographs and quotes from local people are especially useful.
If you are an organisation…
- Consider Greensand Country when developing or updating your organisation’s plans and strategies – how can you help to support and enhance the area’s ‘landscape brand’?
- Use the Toolkit to improve your team’s own understanding of Greensand Country and what is has to offer visitors. Encourage colleagues to use the Toolkit when providing information to visitors and communities.
- Help put Greensand Country ‘on the map’ by promoting the area and its special qualities at every opportunity! Not everyone is familiar with the name ‘Greensand’ and the extent of the area is sometimes a little fuzzy… so try to include a brief description and a copy of the area map when possible.