Owned by the Salvation Army, Hadleigh Farm is an educational working farm. It was bought in 1891 by William Booth to train and employ homeless and destitute people from London’s slums. In addition, there were once three brick yards and a private railway to transport produce – but today, very little of this industrial heritage remains to be seen. Nor is it possible to see the buried remains of the WWII heavy anti-aircraft batteries that were located on the natural vantage point of Hadleigh’s hills.
We produced a total of 13 interpretive lecterns for the project. Some tell the story of the farm; while in the Park, they explain why it’s a special place for wildlife. However, to bring to life the site’s now invisible industrial and military heritage, we decided to use CGI techniques to spark visitors’ imaginations. Without requiring any electronic device, these reconstruction and re-enactment illustrations give a very realistic and somewhat 3-D feel – you could almost be standing at the edge of a real scene!
Hadleigh Farm and Park was the venue for the London 2012 Olympic Mountain Biking events. The farm and adjacent country park – which is owned by Essex County Council – are now part of an Olympic Legacy Project. Centering around the provision of mountain bike activities, the project also includes developing walking trails and visitor facilities at both farm and park – providing more opportunities for people to access, enjoy and appreciate the area’s nature and history. For example, Hadleigh Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, noted for invertebrates.