The National Trust and Killerton have both conducted numerous studies that evaluate the needs and motivations of its core members and users. However, Killerton recognised that there were potential audiences with whom they did not currently engage.
The aim of the ‘Killerton Destination Estate’ study, was to create an estate-wide Spatial and Audience Development Plan that enables the Killerton Estate to contribute the National Trust’s ambition to deliver it strategy 2020-2025 for everyone, for ever.
- Identify key audiences that access the Killerton Estate in a differentiated or segmented way, understanding their needs and where improvements can be made
- Examine how to grow current audiences and new, undefined audiences who traditionally have not used National Trust sites and Killerton in particular
- Probe where and how these audiences can be both accessed and engaged with
An initial phase of desk research was conducted by Turquoise in order to verify the core needs and motivators of current NT members and users of Killerton. Gaps were identified in the current visitor profile giving the Trust helpful indicators on where the potential was to engage with under-represented segments of their audience. This research also enabled Turquoise to geographically map where visitors reside and travel from in order to identify any postcodes areas that could be better targeted.
The second phase of research was a qualitative investigation into the needs and desires of potential audience groups using focus groups – more specifically, online workshops primarily with aimed at gaining insights from new audiences across a mix of genders, ages, life stages, urban/rural locations. 6 groups were conducted with pre-families and families from various locations and proximities to the estate, along with a group of Killerton walkers and residents from the immediate vicinity.
We began at a broad level, looking at peoples perceptions of the role of of the National Trust, peoples association with the organisation and what they felt about its relevance. We also measured the awareness of the National Trust and of sites visited at broad level, investigating topics such as the purpose of the visit and any barriers that had arisen. These same topics where then discussed at a more local level, specifically in relation to Killerton.
There was a wide-ranging list of viewpoints around what would encourage participants to use the estate, including more events and more options for keeping children entertained and to draw families in, more paths and and nature trails, cycle tracks, and more cafes around the estate. There were comments made about more focus being put on education, forest school, and history talks, and better advertising on what Killerton has to offer. There was also an appetite for special events to be put on for local residents such as free open days, environmental talks and showcases for small local businesses.
The Landscape Institute Awards celebrates the exceptional contribution of landscape designers, managers, planners, researchers, local authorities and more across the world towards levelling up and creating a better place to live. In providing the research element for this project in partnership with Cookson & Tickner, Turquoise Thinking was named as finalists in the 2022 awards.