DEN is a digital engaged nature Augmented Reality project based at Queenswood, managed by New Leaf for the Queenswood and Bodenham Lake partnership through Rural Media Company’s Herefordshire’s a Great Place Hidden Gems project.

DEN brings artists, heritage experts and communities together to co-create content using augmented reality (AR) technology at Queenswood. The AR content and app will be accessible to visitors in the form of smart technology tablets and as an AR ap download. The idea is to enable young people who spend much of their time looking at screens to play in nature, and so connect new audiences to the natural world, research shows we all know by our own experience that well-being is enhanced by being in nature. We also know and research shows us that many young people do not experience nature and are very much immersed in the screen.

Still from digital moving image work by Jaime Jackson

Tagging individual trees picked by the community in workshops with digital art made by the participants themselves it will enable them to creatively use artistic techniques to layer their own responses and memories on top of social and natural archives, which form an outdoor exhibition accessible to the public, but also hidden. This is an incredible opportunity to integrate ecology with artist practice, through co-creation, because everyone has a right to engage in art and everyone has an imagination. It is critical that we start to enable people to become tomorrow’s citizens with an active respect for and an imaginative commitment to nature. Climate change adaption is a real thing and DEN can add to the development of sustainable art proactive, want to bring the screen into play in the wood, we want young people to find the hidden DEN maker in themselves, we want to build tomorrow citizens today.

The term “biophilia” means love of life or living systems, that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature. Which is also known as biomimicry. Biophilic cities integrate biophilia into their policy development and service delivery. We want Hereford to be part of this global cultural movement.

Did you like art at school but have not had the chance to do any drawing or painting since?

Are you busy looking after kids or just making ends meet and don’t have the chance to do anything fun?

Do you like nature but just can’t get the time to enjoy it?

Do you like using smart phones, computers or tablets & enjoy taking and sharing photos?

This may be for you, we want to invite people to get involved in our art project, you don’t have to draw, we just want your ideas and imagination.  get in touch with jaimejackson(at)herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk.

We want you to help us make an exciting art work, using cameras and your ideas about nature. Bring your kids too. Nature is the one thing that is common to us all, it’s what we share. Natural capital is everything nature provides us. It is how we stay alive. It is about developing our understanding the real value of things to us instead of just the financial use. It’s only when we understand the meaning of ‘enough’ that we start to accumulate real wealth. As in nature, ‘enough’ gets the job done well; doing or having more than we need wastes time, resources, and ultimately, our lives. Andy Middleton, TEDx