IPHONE users can now enjoy an interactive trail around the historic Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury.

Thanks to a grant of £42,450 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and £4,800 from the Veolia Mardyke Trust, information about the fort and East Tilbury itself has been collated and turned into three iPhone accessible trails using Global Positioning System technology.

At set points along the trails users will be given audio and visual information about the natural and social history linked to their position.

The Apple app store will have the free Thurrock Mobile Explorer app from Wednesday, June 1.

All the trail content will be available on the fort’s website, www.coalhousefortpark.org.uk.

Much of the content for the trail has been found and researched by local people during a series of workshops and events.

Once live, users will also be able to add to the story as the trails are connected to social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Two of the trails are at Coalhouse Fort Park, which explore both the military history of the Victorian fort, and the natural salt-marsh environment surrounding it.

The third trail is at East Tilbury, taking in the former factory complex of the British Bata Shoe Company and a planned settlement in a “garden village” setting.

Both the Coalhouse Fort Park Ranger and the Bata Centre in East Tilbury Library will have compatible Apple devices to hire out to people who don’t have an iPhone for pre-arranged tours.

As the content is also available online, visitors will be able to view trails and content on their smart-phone, or print off from their home computer before they visit.

The trails were developed by Thurrock companies Pixelwork and Agency-East.