Scottish Wildlife Trust interpretation

Bamburgh Coastal Panels

Thornaby Spitfire

Location Location Location

The siting of a sign or interpretive panel involves careful thought.  It needs to be seen but, bearing in mind that it could be going in an unspoilt or sensitive area,
it is often important that it shouldn’t be too obtrusive.

Ideally, it should be sited in a location where the user can make best use of the information it contains, perhaps just to one side of a pathway, in a well-drained spot where there is room for more than one person at a time to view the sign.  Wheelchair access is another consideration and so level ground would normally be preferable.

Also, give some thought as to how the location might affect the longevity of the sign.  Although our panels have excellent resistance to fading, those positioned directly facing south may not give quite such a long life as ones which are in partial shade or facing in another direction.  Boards positioned under trees can sometimes suffer from resin drips or bird droppings or perhaps from pine needles collecting around the edge of the frame.  Locations very close to the seashore may suffer from salt spray or sand.  Having said all this, our signs have been subjected to all kinds of adverse conditions over the years and have still given a long and useful life.

Vandalism is also an issue.  Although it is often difficult to predict how and when this might strike, it is certainly best to avoid locations where young people habitually hang out.  From our experience, most damage of this kind usually takes place within the first 6 months, after which the sign tends to become part of the landscape and less prone to unwanted attention.  If the threat of vandalism is a major worry, it may be worth considering ordering an extra panel to use as a replacement, should the worst happen.  The cost should not be prohibitive. 

Try to avoid erecting signs in fields with livestock as cattle may use installations as rubbing posts with resultant damage!

One final consideration is whether there are likely to be any underground or overhead hazards from utilities such as water, gas, electric or telecommunications at the chosen spot.  This kind of information is available from the utilities companies and sometimes from the local authority.