VISITORS are being put in the picture about life on the wild side in North Yorkshire – with the help of modern technology.

Foxglove Covert was the first nature reserve ever to be established on Ministry of Defence land.

Now visitors to it’s field centre can find a hi-tech guide to the 100 acre wildlife haven in the form of a £22,000 touch screen, covering just 163 the many different birds, inspects, mammals, flowers, fungi, plants and grasses to be found on the 100 acre site at Catterick Garrison, near Richmond.

The screen carries 500 high definition images of different species thriving on the reserve, up to 700 “Did you know?” quirky facts about some them and a quiz with 300 questions.

Jef Maytom, who developed the unique interactive data base with York-based business partner Simon Kendrew, explained: “It’s all about what happens at Foxglove; what you can expect at the reserve and how these species behave at Foxglove.’’

Richmondshire District Council contributed £4,500 to the touch screen project.

Ruth Farrow, chairwoman of the reserve’s management group, said: “In an age of iphones and ipads this will be something which will be attractive to the young generation, bring them into the fieldcentre and will also be very educational for them. And we have the option to add to it, so it could be an ongoing project.’’

Retired Darlington biology and science teacher Elizabeth Dickinson, who provided most of the photographs incorporated in the screen and much of the species information for the data base, says the touch screen is a landmark achievement.

She said: “It is bringing technology into Foxglove which we have not had. It’s going to appeal to children who are more technology minded than older people.’’

Lord Zetland, Foxglove’s patron, said: “It is a fantastic piece of technology.’’

The touch screen was unveiled at the weekend by Colonel Mike Butterwick, deputy commander of the Catterick based 4th Infantry Brigade.

He said: “We (the Army) are a very busy organisation and we and our soldiers will continue to be busy in this post-Afghanistan era. Having a place like this is so important for the soldiers and their families. It’s the peace and reflection Foxglove offers and a sense of community and home.’’