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Accessible Peak District Annual Report 2019

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Introduction

We want everyone to have the chance to discover and enjoy what the Peak District National Park has to offer. This is our fourth report, which shows the work we have done this year for a more Accessible Peak District.

Miles without Stiles

The Peak District has its first twenty Miles without Stiles easy access routes. The routes follow moorland paths, old railway trails, and rivers and reservoirs and are graded to show whether they are accessible for ‘all’, ‘many’ or ‘some’.

Handbook Launch

Gillian and Jane from Accessible Derbyshire spoke to us about our ‘award-winning routes’ at the launch of the handbook, which was funded by Yorkshire Water. The attractive maps and design of the handbook is complemented by the photographs, which were kindly donated.

Details of the Miles without Stiles routes and the handbook, with all proceeds going back into the Access Fund for more access improvements, can be found at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/mws.

Auditing routes

Out with the Disabled Ramblers discovering what makes a good route. We know to never underestimate a Rambler on wheels.

Waymarking

Our Miles without Stiles routes are designed to be easy to follow, but we know that good signage also helps. On our traffic-free trails, you’ll find signage letting you know how far places are and how far to get back. We have 34 miles of these former rail trails

The cycle hire at Parsley Hay offers a range of inclusive cycles as well as the choice of two trails. There’s also a Miles without Stiles route from here.

70th Anniversary of National Parks

As the UK’s first National Park, we were delighted when the anniversary celebrations of the legislation which gave us National Parks and access to the countryside were held here.

The Campaign for National Parks arranged for a celebratory day for everyone taking in wonders of the Peak District from the challenging Mam Tor Miles without Stiles route and then either to the heights of the Great Ridge or the depths of Peak Cavern.

A day to remember.

To find out about the history of access and accessibility in the National Park look for our timeline at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/wildside

Accessible Caving

Castleton Miles without Stiles takes you to one of the wonders of the Peak District and not just from the outside but also now inside.

We worked with Peak Cavern to provide special disabled-friendly entrance tours for the Miles without Stiles Handbook launch and at the 70th anniversary when we probably achieved a record for the most number of wheelchair users underground.

The path steepens just before the Cavern’s entrance so if you’d like any help, please either call Peak Cavern or call into Castleton Visitor Centre who will phone ahead for you.

On the Water

The Peak District Local Access Forum visited Ladybower Fisheries to find out about their wheelyboats. The Forum is a champion of access for all and for the Access Fund, which supports access improvements.

Improving Access

At Ladybower Miles without Stiles, Peak Park Conservation Volunteers made it easier to stop for a picnic along the way.

The Countryside Maintenance and Projects Team carried out work at Consksbury Miles without Stiles to improve the disabled parking space and the path leading from it.

They also improved the path leading from the car park at Curbar Gap Miles without Stiles.

Both projects were funded by the Access Fund, which relies on donations to be able to improve access for the inspiration and enjoyment of all. More information at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/accessfund

Installing wicket gates next to stone squeeze stiles at Calton to make it less of a squeeze.

More clearing and maintaining paths by the Team at Torside car park. The Torside Miles without Stiles route leads from here to the Trans Pennine Trail.

The Longdendale Access Project funded a viewing platform on the Longdendale Trail, handy for a rest.

Thanks to improvements like this, Torside Miles without Stiles is now even better for accessibility.

Changing Space

The same public benefactors funded a changing space at Torside, launched by weather forecaster Jon Mitchell, on a fine day.

Better Outside

More partnership working with Better Outside to make exploring this beautiful area a little easier. Work is taking place on improving the path along the eastern shore of Fernilee Reservoir for a new Miles without Stiles route.

Accessible Peak District

Together we can do more, so that’s why we’ve set up Accessible Peak District with our partners, including Accessible Derbyshire, Yorkshire Water, National Trust and Youth Hostellers Association. We’ll be exploring how we can combine all our efforts for an even more accessible Peak District.

Explore

Accessible routes, accessible places and accessible activities along with a warm welcome.

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