National Parks Accessibility Guide
Issued: 30 November 2010
UK National Parks launch accessibility guide
The UK’s National Parks have launched a guide to accessible activities in Britain’s National Parks.
It’s packed with ideas for anyone with limited mobility, including those needing access for pushchairs and wheelchairs or those whose legs aren’t as young as they used to be.
The guide, produced by the UK Association of National Park Authorities, details some great accessible activities which can be enjoyed in Britain’s most beautiful countryside – the family of UK National Parks.
Available in a number of different formats, the guide can be found at www.nationalparks.gov.uk/visiting/accessforall.htm
Accessible activities in the Guide include:
- A circular walk in the New Forest National Park featuring a beautiful collection of trees from many countries. There is a sensory trail encouraging people to touch, smell and listen to the sounds of certain trees.
- Sailing on a solar powered boat in the Broads (a guided tour) with panoramic views over Barton Broad and a great place for wildlife on land or water. Or perhaps take to the water sailing in specially adapted boats on the 374-acre Wimbleball Lake in Exmoor National Park, an opportunity for people with a range of abilities.
- Mini bus tours with a National Park guide visiting sites on the beautiful high moor in Dartmoor National Park.
- Cycling or perhaps fishing around the beautiful Mawddach estuary in Snowdonia National Park, a chance for visitors to experience some of Snowdonia’s splendour, striking scenery and beautiful wildlife.
- The trail following the edge of Loch Morlich in Scotland with spectacular views towards the Cairngorm mountains.
These accessible activities provide an opportunity to relax, explore, enjoy life and even get fitter and healthier.
Commenting on the new guide, an RNIB spokeswoman said: "The RNIB welcomes the commitment by the National Park Authorities to provide a range of accessible activities in their green spaces that will enable blind and partially-sighted people to further enjoy the landscape of Britain's National Parks.
"We also welcome the National Park Authorities providing a range of accessible information formats," she added.
Carl Lis, chairman of the UK Association of National Park Authorities, said: “The UK’s National Parks are here to be enjoyed, irrespective of age and ability. This new guide gives some great ideas about how everyone, including people with limited mobility, those who are partially sighted, and parents with children in pushchairs, can enjoy the great outdoors in a way that’s not only fun but healthy and good for the body and mind.
“At a time when people are likely to have less money to spend, it’s worth remembering that visiting your nearest National Park is a free, fun way to spend some quality time.”
Notes to editors:
- There are 15 members of the National Parks family. These are the Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, South Downs, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, Yorkshire Dales, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs and the Cairngorms. The Broads is a member of the National Parks ‘family’.
- National Parks have the highest landscape protection for their outstanding beauty and special qualities. They are an important part of the nation’s cultural heritage.
- Land area covered by National Parks: 9.3% of England, 19.9% of Wales and 7.2% of Scotland.
- National Parks are there for everyone to enjoy, free of charge, 24/7, 365 days of the year.