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New free virtual walking trail tells the story of Thomas Ferens

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Visitors to East Park can now learn more about Hull philanthropist Thomas Ferens in a new virtual walking trail.

The trail is available now on the popular free Love Exploring app, which launched at the end of 2020 in East Park. The app already has augmented reality features meaning families can hunt for dinosaurs and fairies, as well as taking part in a range of discovery games, quizzes, guided tours and walking routes.

This new trail has been developed by Hull Culture and Leisure with support and funding from historic residential care home Holderness House, the original home of Thomas Ferens. It tells the story of the former Hull MP whilst encouraging participants to move around the park.

Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “The Love Exploring app is already proving popular with visitors to the park, and this new historic trail is a welcome addition.

“Fresh air and green spaces can do wonders for both physical and mental health and having a free exciting activity to take part in whilst enjoying the stunning surroundings of East Park are a fantastic excuse to get out and move more.”

David Naughton-Doe, CEO of Holderness House added: “All of us at Holderness House are delighted to support the new Thomas Ferens Trail in East Park. The park is right on our doorsteps and our links to Thomas Ferens are important to us.

“When Thomas Ferens died in May 1930, he bequeathed Holderness House and grounds of his and his late wife Ester to be used as a ‘rest home for poor gentlewomen in reduced circumstances’. Today, this still stands as Holderness House, nestled in more than six acres of beautiful gardens and woodland, and is a lovely care home for elderly ladies.

“Thomas Ferens was a well-known forefather of Hull – he was a politician, philanthropist and industrialist who worked tirelessly for the benefit of local residents. For Holderness House and according to the recorded minutes that have been kept since its inception, the first women were received into the house in east Hull in February 1932. As a registered charity, the home remains a vibrant place for elderly ladies to live and is supported by the dedicated and loyal staff and the Board of Trustees.

“We hope local residents enjoy the new Thomas Ferens Trail and once again we are delighted to support it.”

Love Exploring is already used across the country with many parks and open spaces already featured, meaning users can tap into the app when visiting other parts of the country.

Once downloaded, the Love Exploring App is designed to be used ‘off grid’ so it will not eat up your valuable data and with a five year contract in place and regular seasonal updates, the future of exploring East Park is looking bright.

People are invited to share photos taking part in the trails on social media, using #gethullactive.

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