Disabled Ramblers in the Picturesque Landscape.

One of the earliest tasks I was involved in was to do with accessibility when we as Rangers were replacing all our old stiles with gates. Accessibility has often cropped up in conversation as it did one day whilst considering what the Fishpool Valley project might end up looking like. We don’t really have a walk that can be negotiated by people who are disabled; or so I thought.

Whilst in the Fishpool Valley last Friday near the Lime Kiln, up came a lady on a machine, almost charging up the track. She was taking her dog Barney for yet another walk in the Parkland. She told me she came into the valley regularly and had been up to Croft Ambrey, with very little difficulty. She gave me permission to take the attached photo, which I said I hoped to put into our in-house magazine. She said she wished she could afford to own a machine like the one parked outside our visitor reception ‘that thing will go anywhere’ she said. Her Scooter looked as if it had been around the world and back, was driven by two 85amp batteries, but I didn’t quite catch what make it was. When I asked about the range she said the driver of one of these would get tired well before the batteries gave out. She then went on to tell me about the Disabled Ramblers, a concept I hadn’t considered. I hope that once the Fishpool Valley Project is finished there will be wheeled access, that will allow more and more people like this adventurous lady, the chance to see the ‘Picturesque Landscape’.

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John Parsons