Who We Are


Thriving Charity

Open Country began in 1990 as a temporary project managed by: The Countryside Commission, Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire Social Services, Harrogate Health Authority and the Fieldfare Trust and funded by Powergen, Yorkshire Field Studies Trust and Mencap. Since then Open Country has developed into a small charity with huge aims! On an average week we run up to 26 countryside activities, catering for a range of abilities. Over the years we have been recognised by many awards including the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2006.

Over 30 Years of Experience

Open Country has over 30 years of experience in successfully organising and leading countryside activities and has enabled hundreds of people with a disability to access and enjoy the countryside.

On the back of this experience, we are able to offer high-quality information, training and advice to organisations wanting to provide better access to their countryside sites and events as well as individuals and their families wishing to access the countryside independently.

See below for the results of our latest survey to see how we did in 2023:

Open Country 2023 Annual Survey results
Group at Dove Stone Reservoir

An easy going winter walk around Dove Stone Reservoir in the Peak District

Access For All 

We have produced a range of information to encourage access for all in the countryside. We offer Countryside Directories for People with Disabilities covering Yorkshire, County Durham, Lancashire and Teesside. We have also produced Breakfree Trails for the Harrogate, Leeds, Wakefield, Wharfedale and York areas.

The Advisory Groups

The Advisory Groups (in Harrogate and Wakefield) comprise service user representatives from each activity group, volunteers, trustees, staff and other interested parties. The groups meet three times a year and provide a chance to feedback on activities we have run, as well as helping decide which direction the charity should be going in.


We have a board of seven trustees who are responsible to the community, The Charity Commission and Companies House. Between them they have a wide range of experience, including finance, business and marketing.


Open Country is delighted to have two high-profile patrons, Lord Willis of Knaresborough & Harrogate and Air Commodore Simon Bostock. Paralympian David Stone MBE is our Cycling Ambassador. Their input is invaluable in all aspects of Open Country’s work.

Get In Touch


Community House, 46 East Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5LT


01423 507227

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Registered Charity No: 1107331   Company No: 5155859

© 2017 - 2024. Open Country. All rights reserved.

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