Innovation Reward for Wildlife


Congratulations to The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and project partners Island Friends on winning the Visit Wales Innovation Award for their unique virtual reality (VR) project; Wild Wales.

The award was presented to the Wild Wales team at the prestigious National Tourism Awards (NTA) on the 8th March at the Celtic Manor Golf Club, Newport. The NTA evening was hosted by TV Presenter Sian Lloyd and celebrated the very best of Wales’ tourism industry and showcased many amazing achievements.

Gina Gavigan, Marketing and Development Manager at The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Visit Wales Innovation Award for our Wild Wales project. Our unique VR experiences; Dolphin Dive and Flight of the Kingfisher have inspired thousands of local residents and visitors to Wales to care and more importantly take action for our amazing wildlife. We are super excited to take the technology one step further and we will be launching our new ‘Sea Wales’ 7D augmented reality experience in June to celebrate the 2018 Year of the Sea so watch this space!”

The Wild Wales project includes two family-friendly 360 degree VR wildlife experiences – Dolphin Dive and Flight of the Kingfisher and aims to not only offer unique experience via virtual reality but also promotes the Wildlife Trust’s important conservation work and research using innovative technology.

Lucy Griffiths, Director of Island Friends said:

“We were delighted to be partners in this fantastic project, which used the latest technology to bring the characters from our Island Friends storybooks to life in a 360 VR environment and showcased the incredible wildlife experiences Wales has to offer to a whole new audience. In particular this project shows that there are ways in which sustainable tourism can support and protect our natural environment whilst also offering incredible experiences – truly a win-win for wildlife and for Wales.’’

The Wild Wales project 360 degree video content was filmed by M7 Virtual and funded by the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation fund which aims to encourage new innovative ideas to attract more visitors.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is the largest charitable organisation working exclusively on all aspects of wildlife conservation in south and west Wales. The Trust works for a better future for all kinds of wildlife across south and west Wales, aiming for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone.

Their project partners, Island Friends, is an educational book series featuring the creatures who inhabit the islands off the Pembrokeshire coast in South West Wales. The books were authored and illustrated by Lucy Griffiths and Christopher Thomas, and the team are currently developing the stories into an animated series.