The Friends of Foots Cray Meadows staged a novel two-pronged celebration of technology and tradition at the weekend.
The community group officially launched its innovative QR Code Project, which brings to life the 240 acres of wetlands, grassland and woodlands through a welter of information with just a few taps of an app on your mobile phone.
This event was combined with the FFCM’s official planting of a Royal Oak to mark the Coronation in May of King Charles III.
Honoured guests at the event, held around the FFCM’s Information Centre on the Meadows, included Councillor Nigel Betts, Bexley’s Deputy Mayor, and Louie French, the MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup.
Mr French said: “It was an absolute pleasure to join the hardworking volunteers from the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows for this special community occasion.
“The planting of the Coronation Tree and the QR project are really good news for our community and all of us who enjoy the beautiful and historic Meadows.
“These type of projects and partnerships highlight how wonderful our community is, and I would like to thank Coca-Cola, Bexley Council’s parks team and all the fantastic volunteers for making this happen.”
Mr Betts said: “It was quite nostalgic for me as someone who had been involved with the Meadows from 1974 until about 1986.
“The QR code project is a brilliant idea and an exceptionally good way to give visitors to the Meadows detailed information about what they can find around them at the various ‘stations’.
"As the current custodians of the Meadows, it is so good that the FFCM has added to the historical landscape with the planting of an oak tree to mark the assession to the throne and the Coronation of HM King Charles lll. It looked a very healthy specimen and I am sure it will outlive us all.”
Michael Heath, who has chaired the FFCM since its launch in 2006, in his opening address thanked Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) for its donation of £5,000 in the summer, which has made the QR Code Project, and future innovations, possible.
Jacky Turner, chair of the QR Code Project who was responsible for initiating the concept with the FFCM, explained to the 80-plus guests on Saturday, October 28 the workings of the system – involving the codes either mounted on locally sourced posts or within the welcome points around the Meadows.
Simply by scanning the QR codes using your mobile, you can access a wealth of details describing that vicinity you are in as well as facts about the history, wildlife plus the woodlands and wetlands. The posts will eventually provide audio versions of the information.
Mr Heath, chair of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows, said: “‘This wonderful donation from Coca-Cola Sidcup will not only fund our QR code Information Post Project but will enable the Friends to enhance our activities and other engagement with the many communities who visit the Meadows.’