David Shaftoe, Open Country Chief Officer with the Good Access Scheme award
David Shaftoe, Open Country Chief Officer with the Good Access Scheme award

Countryside Access – who is your winner ?


A charity in Harrogate is urging local people to nominate countryside sites and attractions across the district going the extra mile to improve access for disabled people.

Open Country’s Good Access Scheme award recognises the best countryside ‘access for all’ projects across Yorkshire. Outdoor sites can be nominated by the disabled people 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.

Open Country gives people with a disability the chance to get out into the countryside by providing a variety of activities including walking, cycling, conservation, nature study and outings. The charity also provides specialist information, training and advice to landowners, councils and outdoor organisations looking to improve disabled access. Launched in 2015, the Good Access Scheme awards are judged annually by Open Country’s Advisory Group, made up of disabled members alongside volunteers and Trustees of the charity.

Chief Officer of Open Country, David Shaftoe, said:

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 this year 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 Open Country by email at info@opencountry.org.uk outlining the ways in which the outdoor site or project has enhanced their disabled access. For more information visit www.opencountry.org.uk or call 01423 507227


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