Disability news

Brighton charity aims to make local parks more accessible

a park in Brighton

A charity in the west country has set its own mission to help disabled people  "get into their local green space".

The project, set by Your Park Bristol & Bath to mark their fifth anniversary, is the charity’s “biggest campaign yet” which will make local parks accessible for around 20,000 people.

To make it a success, the group needs to raise £30,000 within the next six weeks to ensure the project achieves its goal.

Charity worker Colin Matthews told BBC News: "Physical accessibility for wheelchair users like myself, and people with other impairments is very patchy - there's no consistency.”

The idea is to open “two exemplar parks” around the local area, one for disabled visitors with the other welcoming women and girls in each city with smooth pavements and additional lighting.

Matthews said overgrown entrances to parks as well as uneven and damaged surfaces are the main obstacles which need to be addressed.

"I'd be looking at the main entranceways, the paths - whether they're nice and flat - not broken up by any potential obstacles like tree roots or drain covers. Whether gates are nice and easy to open, and whether they open both ways," he explained.

"When we were carrying out the access audit we were asking our participants, who were disabled people and carers, about the barriers that would impact them, and that varies from person to person."

The group is also launching a "best practice tool kit" encouraging councils and local authorities to sign up to their schemes.

[ Green areas improve property prices by as much as 15 percent. ]

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