Working Together for a more Accessible Exmoor

‘People can feel more confident about attending the many accessible events that take place on Exmoor’ –was the key theme at a workshop jointly hosted by the Exmoor National Park Authority and the Heart of Exmoor scheme recently at the newly opened Lynmouth Pavilion.

The event was attended by range of organisations and individuals including both event organisers and those with expertise and personal experience in accessibility issues.  There were presentations from Richard Pitman of Taunton based Compass Disability Services and an update on recent work on developing “Phototrails”  in Exmoor.

Representatives from a number of organisations attended the event.

Representatives from a number of organisations attended the event.

Interpretation and Education Manager at Exmoor National Park, Ben Totterdell said: “Every year hundreds of events take place on Exmoor, from guided deer walks to village fetes and art exhibitions. However, for many people with disabilities there is often not enough information about these events for them to feel confident about coming along – or simply not enough events that are planned with the needs of people with disabilities in mind.

“It was great to have so many people there who are all committed to working together to ensure Exmoor can be enjoyed by everyone. I certainly learned a lot and will be looking at how we can improve our events programme and information for next year.”

Comments from other participants include: ‘Thanks for an excellent day’ Wendy Mills (National Trust)

‘A very refreshing day. Made us realise that access is not just about wheelchairs. The workshop will definitely make us think differently about our events in 2014’  Ruth Hyett (Exmoor Natural History Society and Porlock Visitor Centre)

‘I thought it was a really good day and was pleased to be invited. There were certainly lots of light bulb moments for participants as they came to understand accessibility in its wider sense’ Richard Pitman (Compass Disability)

David Rolls, Heart of Exmoor Outreach and Education Officer said: “Exmoor has a host of wonderful opportunities for everyone and I thought the day was very constructive in highlighting many of these.  The event was part of the wider “Access for All” project which Exmoor National Park and the Heritage Lottery Fund have been financially supporting.”

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