C&M associates’ interpretation panels are interesting to read and exciting to look at. We have written, researched and designed 40 panels to date. Interpretation panels should be tools, allowing intellectual access to places. Our aim is to work with the visitor’s curiosity and sense of discovery.
We do not want to offend visitors or local people by introducing inappropriate objects into special places. To this end we are very careful as to how the boards are presented; using the skils of artists and craftspeople to create appropriate designs which fit well into their surroundings.
We commission or produce our own mapwork, illustration and photography as required and as budgets allow. We follow best practice guidelines to accessibility and incorporate tactile elements where appropriate.
The boards themselves usually follow Association for Heritage Interpretation guidelines – images and text are reverse bonded onto clear polycarbonate and then backed by a foamed-plastic sheet. The resultant 'sandwich' is 18mm thick and able to absorb most of the punishment thrown at it. Panels commissioned for both the River Avon Trail and the Bristol & Bath Railway Path are of this type, but we would also consider and use other techniques depending on the task.
We take account of the need for people to orientate themselves and follow trails successfully. This requires careful thought as to the sequence of panels and their relationship to each other.
The siting of panels is arranged to minimise disturbance of archaeological remains and to ensure that their character and positioning complements existing and planned landscape schemes.