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WWF goes mobile with London Waterside Challenge

23 August 2012

Today (23 August) WWF has gone mobile with the launch of its new, free and easy-to-use smartphone web app that provides people with the chance to have fun whilst learning about the environment. As the Olympic drama continues, WWF’s Waterside Challenge uses mobile technology to bring some of the Capital's hidden waterside treasures to life through simulations of local wildlife, interactive quizzes, videos and more digital surprises!

As part of The Panda Made Me Do It, WWF’s campaign to celebrate, reward and encourage pro-environmental behaviour, the app will get people out into London’s incredible outside spaces, and give them top tips on how they can make a difference. Neil Gunn, Head of Digital Strategy at WWF-UK said: “This is the first time we've jumped into apps in a major way. We think that by combining the beauty of the natural world with the rich information available in the digital world, people might get even more out of their weekend trip to the riverbank.”

The new free app can be used by anyone and everyone with an Android or iPhone smartphone; activated when they visit the 10 hotspots uniquely chosen by WWF for their natural beauty and wildlife. These hotspots will reveal facts, augmented reality and the chance to get involved to make a difference in the local community. The app will also give the user a chance to win prizes such as t-shirts and canoeing and kayaking lessons by successfully carrying out challenges set by the app.

Kathy Hughes, Freshwater Programme Officer at WWF-UK said: “London’s waterways are home to some weird and wonderful creatures, like the European eel, brook lamprey, and delightful water shrew. But as pollutants from roads and sewers run into riverine habitats, more effort is needed to look after these precious ecosystems.

“With this app, people can explore natural environments right on their doorstep, and find out more about why it’s so important to protect them.”

The app can be activated at any of the ten locations, as well at specific points along the Olympic canal route. The 10 special locations are: Tottenham Marshes, Highgate Ponds, Middlesex Filter Beds, Camley Street Natural Park, New River Walk, Regent’s Canal, Stave Hill Ecological Park, Leg O’Mutton Natural Reserve, Queensmere Ponds, Morden Hall Park, as well as the Olympic Waterways Mini-trail that runs from Hackney Wick along the canal to the Olympic Park.

Ben Mason from Tom Sawyer Effect said: “It’s been great working with WWF on this exciting new project. We’ve helped create new ways to explore the natural world using some of the latest developments in mobile technology. With this app, people will be challenged, stimulated and rewarded at London's most interesting waterside locations.”

WWF’s Waterside Challenge app aims to get Londoners thinking differently about the environment, by getting out and exploring their local watersides using new technology. Once people start to enjoy the outdoors, they are more likely to want to take positive action to protect it.


ENDS

Notes to Editors:
• The app can be accessed by anyone with Android or iPhone smartphones. For more information go to wwf.org.uk/waterside.
• WWF encourages people to use the app responsibly by the designated waterside locations so as to avoid accidents.
• The Panda Made Me Do is WWF’s campaign, which says that while the natural world is in trouble, if we are all prepared to take action we can make a difference. It is about collecting, sharing and celebrating things that people are doing for our planet. You can find inspiration from others and suggestions of things you can do with WWF to play your own part. It’s your future. Tell is what you’re going to do. For more information go to wwf.org.uk/doit.

About WWF:
• WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

For more information:
• Cara Clancy, Press Officer WWF-UK
Tel: 01483 412 305, Email: cclancy@wwf.org.uk


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