North York Moors National Park Centre

The North York Moors National Park Centre is a hub of interpretation, events and activities in the bustling moorland village of Danby. Core delivered interpterion design and fit-out of the centre, tying in with Land of Iron interpterion across the national park.

Our brief was to make Danby the hub for the national park and a place to interpret the industrial heritage, people and wildlife of the region. We took part in consultation with the local community, including volunteers and local history experts, to elicit stories and knowledge from local people and involve them in the process of reviewing designs for the interpretation.

The centre features a range of hands-on interactives, AV displays and immersive graphic and scenic elements. On the ground floor, we developed an area to interpret the different habitats of the national park – from farmland, woods and rivers, to the hills and coastline – giving visitors an overview of the region and encouraging them to explore further. This area features immersive graphics with 3D tactile elements such as interactive rock pools for young children, plus a central interactive jigsaw of clues from around the space linking to conservation messages.

Interpretation linking to the park-wide Land of Iron project explores the hidden history of the region’s Victorian iron mining industry, which flourished and disappeared within one hundred years. We developed a range of interventions to help visitors navigate and uncover clues about the region’s industrial heritage within the landscape. These include a duel-screen intro film about the Land of Iron project, a four-wall 360-degree atmospheric projection showing the rise and fall of the industry, illustrated graphics and lightboxes following a glowing iron ore seam, and a fun donation box where visitors bounce coins across a miniature landscape.

On the first floor, we developed an interactive activity space aimed at putting Danby on the map as a destination for repeat visits. This multi-user space features a range of marble activities linking to stories from the Land of Iron project, with interactives that explore iron ore extraction and transport, pig iron production, heavy machinery use, counter-weighted railways, and salmon migration, as well as open-ended activities for visitors to create their own marble runs.