Do you know a countryside site or venue in Yorkshire doing great things to encourage visitors with disabilities?

Open Country members presenting the Good Access Scheme award to RSPB St Aidan’s in 2019

Open Country’s Good Access Scheme award was launched in 2015 to recognise the best countryside ‘access for all’ projects across Yorkshire each year. We want to hear about local nature reserves, national park sites and outdoor venues who are going the extra mile to improve access for people with physical, learning or sensory disabilities.

Outdoor sites can be nominated by the members of public who use them or by the staff or volunteers who manage them. Previous winners have included a number of local nature reserves as well as landowners such as Yorkshire Water who are working creatively to unlock the countryside for people of all abilities.

The awards are judged annually by our Advisory Group, made up of disabled members, alongside volunteers and Trustees of the charity.

David Shaftoe, Open Country Chief Officer

Yorkshire has seen unprecedented numbers of people accessing the countryside since lockdown restrictions have eased, with many taking solace in the therapeutic benefits of being around nature and wildlife. Unlocking the countryside for people of any ability is at the heart of Open Country’s work.

David says: “Whether it’s a scheme to improve pathways or innovative projects for people with a sensory impairment, we’d love to hear about countryside sites going the extra mile to welcome disabled people. On your trips into the countryside over the next few weeks, keep in mind our award scheme and if you have an idea for a worthy winner, please do let us know.”

Anyone who would like to make a nomination for this prestigious award should contact us by email at info@opencountry.org.uk by the end of October outlining the ways in which the outdoor site or project has enhanced their disabled access.

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