We want everyone to have the chance to discover and enjoy what the Peak District National Park has to offer. This is our third report which shows the work we have done this year to improve accessibility for a more Accessible Peak District.
Accessibility guides are now available for all our visitor centres. The guides enable wheelchair users, people with hearing loss, visual or mental impairment, older people, families with young children and others to decide whether we have everything suitable for their needs. The guides include photos and descriptions of what you can expect to find in a handy, easy-to-read guide and can be found at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/accessforall
During National Parks Week in 2018, we held an Accessibility Day at Parsley Hay Visitor Centre for people to trial our range of inclusive bikes, held Ranger-led guided walks on our first Miles without Stiles easy access routes, promoted accessible activities including the wheelyboat at Ladybower Fisheries and caving at Peak Cavern, and gave tours of the accessible camping pod at North Lees campsite. We also supported Accessible Derbyshire’s Changing Places campaign by a Mobiloo at Castleton Visitor Centre.
Local Access Forum
The Peak District Local Access Forum continues to champion access for all by providing support, advice and guidance for the work being done and to help more to be done through the National Park’s Access Fund. Please visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/donate if you’d like to make a difference. A donation of any amount will help us to do more for more.
For more information on the Local Access Forum please see www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/laf.
Donations to the Access Fund have helped us to get our first Miles without Stiles routes ready for launch. We will need to keep on top of this work especially where it involves cutting back vegetation or dealing with washed out sections of the track’s surfacing. Peak Park Conservation Volunteers and Home Farm Trust helped us with this at Conksbury Lane, Curbar Gap and Coombs Dale.
We also received a donation to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary with a hand-made oak bench at the Coombs Dale Miles without Stiles route. Smiles all around.
In November 2018, we were delighted to receive an award for Large Scale Project of the Year for Miles without Stiles. This builds on our Organisation of the Year award at Accessible Derbyshire’s previous awards ceremony. The awards help us to highlight why this work is important. More information here
Miles without Stiles
In November 2018, we launched our first 20 Miles without Stiles routes at an event held at Langsett. On the day, we explored a hidden oasis on a route suitable for many to a new bench with a plaque to record the occasion. It was fitting that we held it here, because Yorkshire Water had provided the funding for this work and also because we had hosted the UK’s National Parks here where we reaffirmed our intention to take forward collectively our accessibility work.
It was great that so many of those who had started this with us could join us on the day. This included Accessible Derbyshire, Experience Community, Disabled Ramblers, Bradfield Walkers are Welcome and the Peak District and Sheffield Local Access Forums. It is certainly the case that together we can do more.
Details of the Miles without Stiles routes and a handbook available for purchase with all proceeds going back into the Access Fund for more access improvements can be found at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/mws.
Whatever your level of ability we have an event for you or maybe you want to be sure that everyone in your group or family is able to enjoy the best the National Park has to offer. Join us on Ranger-led events especially suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs or trampers and walks of a shorter distance and where a little more help can be given. You can see information about our Miles without Stiles routes before you visit or find out about our Health Walks where you will be met by the same friendly faces each time. Book online for each year’s accessible events.