The Countryside Agency has today re-launched the National Trails web site (www.nationaltrail.co.uk). The new site brings together best practice in web design including user-orientated design, web standards and improved accessibility.

The Countryside Agency is the latest in a number of high profile organisations to move their site away from table-based design and to adopt web standards.

Web standards allows for the separation of content from design. This has enabled the Countryside Agency to:

- Improve accessibility ensuring the site is more accessible to the disabled community as well as a range of browsers and devices
- Enhance print functionality so that the site only prints the elements of the page that are useful when reading a printed copy of a web page
- Make global design changes quickly and easily allowing the site to be efficiently updated based on user feedback
- Ensure pages are quick to download despite the heavy use of imagery and rich media content.

Design agency, Headscape developed the new site. Paul Boag, Headscape’s creative director said “the decision to move to web standards was an obvious one. The benefits to both the end user and the client are immense. By separating design from content we could improve functionality to the user while also streamlining the management of what are effectively 12 individual trail sites”

The Headscape team has worked closely with National Trail staff over the last few months to develop a highly functional, usable and accessible site.

Terri Edwards, Programme Manager of National Trails said “with this redesign, we wanted to make sure that justice was done to such an important resource. We are thoroughly delighted with the new site and believe it will significantly improve our users’ online experience. The Headscape team have steered the project from day one through to launch with professionalism and creativity.”

From the central portal site users can find broad Trail information or quickly access more detail on individual sites. Interactive maps feature highly throughout providing users with information on accommodation and places of interest.

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About The Countryside Agency (Landscape, Access and Recreation)
The Landscape, Access and Recreation division of The Countryside Agency is working to help everyone to respect, protect and enjoy the countryside
Its mission is to ensure that an increasingly attractive and sustainable countryside is well understood, highly valued and widely enjoyed.
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About National Trails
National Trails are long distance routes for walking, cycling and horse riding through the finest landscapes in England and Wales. Altogether there are about 2,500 miles (4,000km) of National Trail.
They have all been created by linking existing local footpaths, bridleways and minor roads and by developing new ones where there were gaps. There are 15 Trails in England and Wales.

About Headscape
Headscape builds great looking, usable websites. We ensure all sites are accessible to the widest possible audience, easily updatable, and achieve business objectives. Headscape provides a complete online service including design, technical development and marketing – www.headscape.co.uk.

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Countryside Agency Contact
Terri Edwards
Email – terri.edwards@countryside.gov.uk
Phone 01242 533288

Headscape Contact
Marcus Lillington
Email - marcus.lillington@headscape.co.uk
Phone – 01252 843155

Published on: 12:00AM on 4th July 2005