Learn how The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales has embraced virtual reality and boosted their website to help grow the local conservation charity.
Find out how Superfast Business Wales helped the charity keep up to date with new trends and boost their marketing to attract more visitors.
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is a conservation charity. It’s a local conservation charity and our mission is to protect wildlife for the future. We’ve got four visitor centres and we’ve got lots of really dedicated staff and volunteers who help to make our mission a reality.
This is visitor centre in particular is our parc slip, the nature reserve and business centre based in Bridgend. There’s 300 acres of nature reserve here and it’s really special because it used to be an open cask coal mine. So we’ve won an award for bio-diversity to be able to bring that back from an open cask coal mine back to the beautiful nature reserve that it is today.
We’ve got some really lovely areas of the nature reserve, we’ve got various bird hides that you can look out on some of the scrapes and see the waders, and things like that. We’ve got really lovely woodland, we’ve got a canal as well which you can sometimes see kingfishers flying up and down. And, of course, we’ve got the visitor centre which is a great place to unwind and have a cup of coffee and a nice bit of lunch.
We got in touch with Superfast Business Wales because of the opportunities that they were offering and some really key training and skills that we could pick up from them to really help our organisation grow.
We attended their dynamic social media masterclass training for hospitality and tourism businesses and that gave us a massive insight into how we can optimise certain processes that we were doing within the marketing and communications department to increase our reach and engagement, to piggy back on other campaigns and really raise awareness for the Trust and the work that we’re doing.
That’s had a really positive impact on the Trust. We’ve had increased reach throughout our social media platforms and as a knock-on effect of that on through our site as well, we’ve had more visitors to our visitor centre, to all of our nature reserves. We’ve just really been able to raise awareness about the work that we do better.
We get a positive reaction from our visitors to the website, it’s constantly evolving. We constantly try and follow key trends and we’re only aware of those because of some of the skills that Superfast Business Wales helped us to develop.
Last year we partnered up with Visit Wales. It was Visit Wales’ year of legends and we developed two virtual reality 360 degree experiences, Dolphin Dive and Flight of the Kingfisher.
We took these to Countryfile live and various other event and we had absolutely phenomenal feedback from the public. A lot of people don’t know that we’ve got dolphins off the coast of Wales and these experiences really helped to show people what we’ve got in terms of our marine environment and other species in land – and it actually increased our visitor numbers as well.
I think the digital platform at the moment is so broad and versatile – and it’s constantly changing – and I think if organisations have any opportunity to get help about how to understand that or the common trends that are popping up, they should go and do that.
And that’s what Superfast Business Wales are offering, is to give organisations like us a chance to be able to compete really well on these platforms and optimise them to the best of their abilities.