Banff and Macduff pupils de-code their way to a digital Treasure Trail

Mobile application developers will be visiting pupils in Aberdeenshire next week (w/b Nov 6) to progress the next stage in producing a digital tool celebrating the heritage of their towns.

Children from primary schools in Banff and Macduff are getting hands-on experience in mobile application development while helping to produce Treasure Trails celebrating the two communities.

Following on from successful research visits to Banff Conservation Area, Duff House and Macduff, P7 pupils have been busy working on a question and answer section for upload to the Global Treasure Trail App.

As part of regeneration activity in the area, the trails are being developed to help highlight the history and culture of the area in a three-year project.

The question and answer section pupils are contributing is aimed at teasing out some of the more interesting facts and stories for users.

Global Treasure Trails are the owners of the application, which enables young people to design and upload treasure and heritage trail information for their area.

Its developers will be working with the pupils next week to teach the children the skills needed to upload these questions to their digital trails.

This full day of education will help develop digital skills, which are becoming increasingly important.

The app will be available to be download for free next spring by anyone with an interest.

There will be four trails in the two towns: one in Banff covering the area of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) on Bridge Street and Low Street, two in Duff House and one in Macduff.
Banff and Macduff Regeneration Officer, Naomi Mason has been coordinating this collaborative project. 

“It has been fantastic to see the enthusiasm and inquisitive natures of the children from both schools really shine as they have been learning about their towns and historical assets,” she said. 

“Not only that, the digital skills they will be learning in this next stage of the project will stand them in good stead in an increasingly digital world.”

Frances O'Neill at Global Trails Ltd said they are delighted to be working with Aberdeenshire Council and Historic Environment Scotland on this innovative project.

"This is the first time we have worked with primary school children and we have been genuinely impressed at the enthusiasm of the pupils, teachers, parents, staff at Duff House and the volunteers who have helped facilitate this fun learning experience," she said.

"The pupils create their own interactive treasure trail content by carrying out location-based research, then uploading the text, audio and video onto the Global Treasure Apps database and publishing their treasure trails around Banff and MacDuff and Duff House for tens of thousands of Global Treasure Apps' users to follow and enjoy."

Chairman of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, Andy Kille, said: “I’m pleased these children are being given the opportunity to participate in producing a product which will be available for anyone to use and learn from.

“Encouraging people to look at their areas with fresh eyes can show us things we forget are there, and build pride in our communities.

“The regeneration activity currently taking place in our northern towns is very important for their future, so it’s great to see local children having direct input into this work.”

The CARS project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, has provided finance for the Banff Trail, Historic Environment Scotland has also helped fund the Duff House Trail and the Macduff Trail is being resourced from the council’s Macduff Regeneration Action Plan.