We are really thrilled to be launching our first ever ‘Breakfree’ pack for the Wakefield district. Created to provide inspiration and information on accessible trails around the area, the packs are free to download on our website click here.
Take a look at our launch video here
Although the pack has been developed with disabled people in mind, they have a much wider appeal to families with young kids and pushchairs, anyone who might struggle with exercise and older people whose mobility might be failing.
About the pack
The pack features 12 short trails around parks, nature reserves and reservoirs across the district including:
- Pugneys Country Park, National Trust Nostell, Anglers Country Park, Wakefield Parks, Newmillerdam Country Park, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Pontefract Park, Walton Colliery Nature Park, Upton Country Park, RSPB Fairburn Ings, Ardsley Reservoir and Crow Nest Park.
The individual route cards give a detailed trail description of the terrain, gates or barriers, the gradient as well as features of interest including play areas, wildlife watching opportunities and water features. The route cards also list if there is a cafe and WC facilities and whether these are accessible to all.
Ella is our Wild About Wakefield Project Officer. She says: “On our outings into the countryside with our members, we stick with the old adage of ensuring there is a view, a brew and a loo! The handy key and maps in these packs tell you all this about the route and loads more. In fact, there’s everything you need to plan your trip outdoors and ensure that it’s an enjoyable experience.
“Our Breakfree packs are all about breaking down the barriers to participation in the outdoors and demonstrating just how easy it is to access some great places on our doorstep. We’re lucky enough to have 560 kilometres of Public Rights of Way and permissive paths available to walkers and cyclists, as well as 7 country parks and 16 nature reserves – so many opportunities for outdoor adventures!”
We are delighted to have received support from the European Social Fund and Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund to create and print this new pack. As well as being free to download and available to pick up at the sites featured, groups and individuals with disabilities can also drop us an email to get hold of a FREE printed version of the Breakfree pack by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Our team’s favourite walks
Ella says: “Although Open Country members have had some wonderful experiences at all of these accessible green spaces, my personal favourite is Wakefield Parks. This amalgamation of three parks (Thornes, Holmfield and Clarence) provides a great countryside experience for all and it’s just a mile outside the city centre! Open Country have our base here and we have had great fun over the years exploring the woods and Secret Garden, taking photos in front of the rose garden and eating our lunch next to the noisy ducks on the pond.”
Tom says: “Newmillerdam is a wooded reservoir only minutes from the centre of Wakefield, however when you are there it feels like you are very much in the heart of the countryside. From bluebells in the spring to spectacular colours in the autumn it is a brilliant place to encounter the natural world in all its glory. There are plenty of vantage points around the water’s edge to get intimate views of the birds, fungi and flora to be found in the woods, a gnome roam for children to enjoy, a cafe half way round and a pub at the end! What more could you want?”
Best for snowdrops – Nostell
Best for daffodils – Wakefield Parks
Best for bluebells – Newmillerdam Country Park
Best for blackberries – Upton Country Park
Best for bird watching – RSPB Fairburn Ings
Best for views – Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Best for cycling – Pugneys Country Park or Walton Colliery
Download the NEW Wakefield Breakfree pack at www.opencountry.org.uk/breakfree Groups and individuals with disabilities can also contact the charity to get hold of a free printed version of the Breakfree pack by emailing email@example.com The packs will also be available to pick up from many of the sites featured.