Vole's Tale

A collaboration between DC Labs, the Department of Electronic Engineering, and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is using digital technology to encourage engagement with nature.

The ‘Vole’s Tale’ immersive audio app tells the hidden stories of Askham Bog, a 15,000 year old fenland situated three miles from the centre of York. 

Aimed at children of primary school age but suitable for the whole family, the app presents characters including Vernon Vole, the Spirit of the Bog, and Mike Mink. The characters reveal fascinating facts about the rich history of the bog, its ecosystem and the diverse flora and fauna to be found there.

The app uses geolocation technology linked to site specific audio segments. As the user explores the site, different narratives are triggered by geo locations along the route and visitors experience a new dimension to the nature reserve. 

Character guides are brought to life on screen in the form of beautifully drawn animations from York-based design, illustration and animation company, dogeatcog.

With four different stories for users to engage in, the app provides incentive for visitors to return to the bog. Visitors can progress to the next story level when they have completed the first. And once they’ve completed all four ‘levels’, app users can listen to any of the stories again, to brush up on their wildlife knowledge. 

The Vole’s Tale will be available to download later this year. Watch this space for more information and take a look at our short video to find out about the app and Askham Bog Nature Reserve.