Young visitors to Lincoln Cathedral are being given the chance to find out more about the historic building with the help of themed backpacks.
The complimentary backpacks contain booklets, information, replica items, puzzles, challenges, and in some cases real artefacts.
They are designed to engage families with the Cathedral’s stories, people, archaeology and architecture through activities.
The themes currently include; ‘Animal Adventure’ for three to six-year olds, which is about finding the many animal carvings around the cathedral, and ‘Work, Work, Work’ for six to 11-year olds, which teaches children about how crafts people keep the Cathedral alive today.
There will also be a ‘Pilgrimage’ pack, ‘Cathedral Creatures’ and ‘Signs and Symbols’ packs coming soon.
The packs are available on request at the entry desk during most opening times.
The £2,000 initiative is being funded by the Connected project, a Heritage Lottery Fund backed initiative to radically improve the Cathedral’s setting and visitor experience, and Lincoln-based Sandford Cascade, a project to encourage confidence within heritage learning, also funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Education outreach officer at Lincoln Cathedral, Sally Bleasdale, said: “The backpacks are a great way to engage with families who visit the Cathedral and will help them get the most from that visit in a fun and interactive way.
“This initiative is an important part of the work we are doing as part of the Connected project to encourage families to visit the Cathedral and to learn about this internationally important building and its rich history.
“There are so many parts of the Cathedral that many people won’t have explored yet and these backpacks will allow families to venture deeper into the Cathedral and have fun whilst doing so.
“This scheme is part of the exciting education and interpretation programme that we are introducing as part of the Connected project, and I hope that families enjoy using the backpacks.”
The backpacks are a permanent feature to the Cathedral and more themes will be introduced in the coming months.
Rachel Bryant, from Sandford Cascade, said: “This is a fantastic idea which we were keen to support and another great addition to the already thriving activity scene in Lincoln.
“Our aim is to strengthen learning in the historical environment and encourage confidence within heritage learning, and these back packs do exactly that.
“The scheme has already been well received by the public and I look forward to seeing the other themes introduced in the future for people to enjoy.”
Lincoln Cathedral Connected is a high profile, multi-million-pound transformational project which will bring economic and social benefits to the Cathedral, as well as the city of Lincoln. Works as part of the Connected project involve the landscaping of Dean’s Green to create a new public space, the new visitor centre which will include a larger café and shop, new toilets and changing rooms and an interpretation centre to display some of the Cathedral’s treasures.