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National Park campsite opens new facilities for people with disabilities

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Accessible camping podMore people can get close to nature and enjoy staying and sleeping in the Peak District countryside, thanks to new accessible camping facilities.

An accessible camping pod has been installed at the Peak District National Park’s North Lees campsite, near Hathersage.

Close to woodland and a stream, the comfortable wooden pod has been carefully planned and equipped in partnership with Accessible Derbyshire co-founders Jane Carver and Gillian Scotford.

North Lees property manager Rebekah Newman said: “The camping pod is accessible for people with a range of disabilities and would also be ideal for older people with mobility issues. The beauty of the location is that it’s right next to the stream at the edge of the woodland so even if you don’t go anywhere else it’s a nice place to just be.

“You can hear the stream splashing over the stones and the birds flitting in and out of the trees. It’s an intimate countryside experience in its own right.”

Accessible Derbyshire sourced and bought the pod’s height adjustable electric profile bed with rails, a hoist to help people in and out of bed and a shower chair which can also be used as a commode.

The Peak District National Park arranged for the equipment to be serviced by Sheffield-based specialists Clark & Partners before installation. Accessible shower and toilet facilities are close by and can be reached via a gently sloping path.

Jane said: “We want to make Derbyshire the most accessible area of the country and these camping facilities are another big step towards that.”

Gillian added: “This camping pod was one of our original dreams. It could be the answer for people who’ve previously loved being active in the outdoors, but who may have spinal injuries or have had a stroke. Now they can still have the experience of wilderness camping.”

The accessible camping pod complements an additional six pods elsewhere on the site, which can also accommodate up to 60 small tents. All wooden pods are built locally have a double glazed window and lockable French doors. They are insulated for winter warmth and to keep summer temperatures down, have a covered veranda and include lighting and heating and the opportunity to charge a phone/laptop.

To plan a camping trip to North Lees, visit www.peakdistrict.gov/camping or email northlees.campsite@peakdistrict.gov.uk or call 01433 650838.

Picture caption: Accessible Derbyshire supporter Hannah Taylor, aged 22, gives her seal of approval to the facilities, along with Jane Carver and Gillian Scotford.

For more information on accessible leisure and tourism in the area, or to support Accessible Derbyshire, visit www.accessiblederbyshire.org

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