Dinosaur safari launches at County Durham park

Eight-year-old Joseph Dowson, ten-year-old Grace Manning and eight-year-old Martha Manning test out the app

Visitors to Hardwick Park in Sedgefield can enjoy new and exciting adventures with the launch of an interactive mobile app.

The free Love Exploring mobile app features digital treasure hunts, suitable for all ages. In one of the most popular, families use augmented reality to ‘catch’ dinosaurs with their camera phone. Once they’ve found them, there’s even an opportunity to take selfies with their new virtual friends.

The park is brought to life with interactive features on the free Love Exploring app

There’s also an interactive map, and quiz trails which bring the park to life, teaching people about its history, ecology, buildings and sculptures. The app also offers run, walk and cycle routes and an easy way to view the wide range of events and activities which take place in the park, from arts and crafts to den building and story sessions.

Cllr Kevin Shaw, Cabinet member for Strategic Housing and Assets, including parks, said: “Love Exploring is a fantastic, free resource which encourages people to get outside and learn more about their parks and open spaces.

“The technology will help people to discover a whole new side to Hardwick Park and I’m sure families who are looking for new things to do will really enjoy playing with the app’s games and quizzes.”

Two year old Flynn Dowson and his mum Leah Kelly test out the app’s features

Eight-year-old Joseph Dowson, his little brother Flynn, and mum Leah Kelly are regular visitors to Hardwick Park and were some of the first guests to download and enjoy the Love Exploring app at its launch. Joseph said: “I really enjoyed the Love Exploring app cos you get exercise and fresh air while you can look for dinosaurs. I enjoyed looking for them with the virtual reality.”

More digital treasure hunts are set to be developed on the app over the coming months, linked to other popular family themes. The app is available to download for iPhones running iOS 9.3 upwards from the App store, and for smartphones running Android 4.4 upwards from the Google play store.

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