Tandem Design

Crawfordsburn Geological Gardens

Outdoor Interpretation

Geological Garden

Crawfordsburn Country Park

“Visitors to the geological gardens embark on a journey through time and space.”

We have provided design and copywriting services for panels at 20 State Care Monuments - ranging from pre-historic field monuments to 17th century defensive structures -  and 5 nature reserves managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. 

At Crawfordsburn Geological Garden, we tell the dramatic story of the earth’s history, while highlighting Northern Ireland’s diverse geological heritage.

Visitors to the geological gardens embark on a journey through time and space. Along their route, they encounter a number of panels, each highlighting a particular geological period and an example of the rocks produced during this era. 

They are introduced to the landscapes and environment of Northern Ireland and gain an insight into each era’s physical legacy for Northern Ireland today.


This project required us to engage the visitor not just with the rock samples they immediately encounter, but with the broader concepts of geological time and the processes of geomorphology. As many visitors will not be familiar with these theories, the project presented a significant interpretive challenge.

Several design elements were crucial in successfully engaging visitors of all ages. 

The panels’ design evokes a geologist’s field notebook, creating an atmosphere of discovery. For younger visitors the story of Northern Ireland’s landscape is told by Rocky the greywacke, an illustration guide to the geological gardens.

The use of a guide character adds an element of interpersonal learning that is helpful to individual visitors and groups alike. Rocky acts as a fellow companion, conveying excitement about the journey, but also imparting knowledge.


Visitors gain an insight into the rich geodiversity of Northern Ireland, as well as a greater appreciation for the value of geology as a science.