COUNTRYSIDE

PARKING.

PAVEMENTS.

WHEELCHAIRS and SCOOTERS

RAMPS.

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ACCESSIBILITY versus WILDNESS

Many disabled people have not been able to get into the countryside because of lack of accessible areas. This is gradually changing with initiatives such as British Telecom sponsored projects and their guidelines published with the Fieldfare Trust.

The BT guidance information suggests methods for assessing how accessible areas of countryside should be and how this might be achieved. A balance needs to be kept between accessibility and retaining the essences that make the countryside what it is.

It would not be appropriate to tarmac or pave all paths but consideration can be given to making paths better drained and firmer. The BT guide suggests that countryside which is nearer built up areas should be the more accessible, with the more remote countryside retaining its wildness.


PUBLICITY

As areas are made more accessible, it is important to promote them to the disabled users so that they can be tried out.

Consultation should be carried out with local groups to find what they would like to experience in the countryside and what would make this possible.

Brochures and other promotion material should then use these factors to show what the attractions of a particular area are and how they have been made more accessible.


GATES.

Gates are used to restrict the passage of animals, horseriders, motorbikes and other users. The gates also restrict access for wheelchair users. Kissing gates are possible which will allow wheelchairs and children's buggies through while still prohibiting some of the other users. Larger versions are possible for scooters but these start to allow the other users through as well.

RADAR Key Padlocks

RADAR key operated padlocks are available and these could be used on chains to allow disabled people who have RADAR keys to get through. The padlock and chain systems can be difficult to operate for disabled people.


LEVELS and HEIGHTS

Facilities, such as observation points, should bear in mind the needs of disabled people. The lower eye level of wheelchair users needs to be considered if viewing portals are not to be too high or views are not to be obscured by rails.

RESTING PLACES

Many disabled people will have low strength and stamina. Regular opportunities to sit down and experience the countryside around are of great benefit. These will also help wheelchair users sit with their companions. The resting places need not be formal seating but could be strategically placed cut tree trunks.