Enjoying the great outdoors is not all about tackling heart-stopping scrambles and lung-bursting ascents of towering summits.
Easier access for wheelchairs and pushchairs at Dovestone Reservoir, Greenfield, near Oldham
Although many grough readers will be aficionados of the more challenging terrain offered by Britain’s uplands, many first-time visitors to the national parks need a gentler introduction to the delights of walking in some of our finest scenery. Others, such as wheelchair users and families with pushchairs, are denied access to the glories of the British countryside.
One national park group is trying to redress that, with a guide to easier routes in its area. The Moors for the Future partnership in the Peak District, has published a guide to easy, less strenuous paths, many of which can be used by visitors with disabilities and those with children in pushchairs.
The free You’re Welcome booklet includes beauty spots such as Surprise View, near Hathersage; Curbar and Baslow Edges, and Green Drive in the Burbage Valley. It also details the 29km (18-mile) route around the upper Derwent Valley reservoirs, which have had barriers removed, and the Dovestone Reservoir path near Greenfield in the North of the Peak national park, which has had new easy-access gates and footpath surfacing installed.
Dan Boys, Moor Care project officer said: “Whilst the southern half of the national park has offered a varied choice of former railway lines for visitors seeking easy going paths, the improvements at five moorland locations now provides opportunities for visitors of all abilities to see our wonderful moorland heritage at first hand.”
Alison Salmen, who runs the Hope Valley Access Group, said: “This new guide will really help many people discover the many accessible places that the national park has to offer.”
Mr Boys said: “The work opens up the moorland experience to a whole range of people who were previously excluded, including those in wheelchairs, families with small children and the elderly. We have removed unnecessary barriers like steps and stiles and provided smooth continuous surfaces.”
The cover of the You're Welcome booklet
Some pages from the booklet are available online. The free, spiral-bound, 48-page booklet can be obtained at national park visitor centres at Bakewell, Castleton, the Derwent Valley and Edale.
Alternatively, phone 01629 816558 to request a copy by post.