A new, interactive mobile app is set to make visits to County Durham’s Hardwick Park even more fun.

The country park, near Sedgefield, can now be experienced with the Love Exploring app.

Visitors of all ages can use the free app to enjoy digital treasure hunts. In one of the app’s most popular features, families can use augmented reality to catch dinosaurs and can even pose for photos with their newly captured, prehistoric friends.

The Love Exploring app includes an interactive map and quiz trails that let visitors discover facts about Hardwick Park’s history, ecology, buildings and outdoor artworks.

The app also shows walking, jogging and cycling routes. It can keep you up-to-date with information about events and activities in the park, ranging from den-building workshops to arts and crafts to storytelling sessions.

Durham County Council’s cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, Cllr Kevin Shaw, 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.”

Eight-year-old Joseph Dowson and his family attended the launch of Love Exploring and were some of the first people to download and try out the app.

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, family-orientated treasure hunts are due to be developed for the app over the next few months.

The Love Exploring app can be downloaded from the App Store by iPhones running iOS 9.3 upwards and from the Google Play Store by smartphones running Android 4.4 upwards.

(This article’s featured image shows – left to right – eight-year-old Joseph Dowson, ten-year-old Grace Manning and eight-year-old Martha Manning, all trying out the Love Exploring app.)

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