The Good Access Scheme is Open Country’s annual award recognising the best countryside ‘access for all’ project in Yorkshire.
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. 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 leading the way in accessibility and making visits to the countryside enjoyable for all.
The awards are launched in July each year and are judged in November by our Advisory Group made up of disabled members alongside volunteers and Trustees of the charity.
Outdoor sites can be nominated by the members of public who use them or by the staff or volunteers who manage them.
On your trips into the countryside, 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 the end of October outlining the ways in which the site or project has enhanced their disabled access.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
For providing a suite of access improvements at Ripon City Wetlands including installing an accessible gate, path resurfacing and erecting an accessible shelter.
Rodley Nature Reserve
To celebrate the efforts of its volunteers in opening up the popular Leeds wetland nature reserve to wheelchair users and other people with disabilities.
National Trust Nostell
For their willingness to allow cycling on the estate and to link it in with the wider cycling network, and for creating 1.2km of accessible routes including the Carriageway and Hardwick Beck paths.
For developing its National Cycle Network near Wetherby and on the Wakefield Greenway at Castleford, and for resurfacing work at the Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.
Yorkshire Water & Experience Community
In recognition of the partnership to improve access at Yorkshire Water sites for disabled people, particularly at Fewston Reservoir near Harrogate and Tophill Low Nature Reserve, in Driffield.
Lower Ure Conservation Trust
For its path improvements at Nosterfield Nature Reserve; creating a wheelchair accessible route from the car park to the bird screen and installing benches along the way.
RSPB St Aidans
For their accessible path and installation of benches, enabling wheelchair users and people with limited mobility to access more of the bird reserve.
RSPB Fairburn Ings
For their efforts in creating a 4 mile wheelchair accessible path along the River Aire; the route has been resurfaced allowing easy access from the visitor centre to the Iron Bridge.
Otley Town Council
For its path improvements around Gallows Hill Nature Reserve in Otley. The accessible route along the river and through woodland brings people and nature closer together.