VISITORS to Charlecote Park can now hire a mobility vehicle, for free, to help them get around the parkland – a move which has already been hailed a “game changer”.
The National Trust property near Stratford has been working closely with ambassadors from two local charities – Dogs for Good, and the Disabled Ramblers – to improve access across the landscaped deer park and historic estate.
And as a result, two mobility vehicles are available for visitors to hire out free of charge so they can explore the park.
Julie William, Senior Visitor Experience Officer, said: “As part of the National Trust’s ambition to ensure that everyone feels welcome at its places, we’re creating long-term plans to explore ways we might be able remove barriers to access and be more welcoming to those with disabilities.
“We know that some heritage places can be difficult to access due to historic features and surfaces and balancing their use with the conservation needs.
Working with ambassadors from both Dogs for Good and the Disabled Ramblers, has given us valuable feedback that we can begin to work with to improve the visitor experience for everyone”.
Isabelle Atkins with assistance dog Rumba, and Jemima Banks with assistance dog Albert, have been helping Charlecote Park to review accessibility across the property and parkland.
Ms Atkins said: “This is a game changer for anyone with mobility issues or disabilities when visiting Charlecote Park. As a manual wheelchair user, the tramper allows me to explore and experience huge areas of the parkland with ease, which makes my visits more enjoyable”.
While Ms Banks added: “It grants more independence to visitors with disabilities. It’s great that our feedback is being taken on board and we can help create change. We’re excited that all visitors are being made to feel welcome here, and that visits can become more sociable and enjoyable”.
The purchase of the mobility vehicles was made possible thanks to the support of the Coventry National Trust Association.
Visitors can book one of the two mobility vehicles in advance of their visit. More information can be found on the National Trust’s website.