open access


South West Beauty spots open to all with 'Trampers'

A charity is enabling people to adventure and explore outdoors, regardless of how far they can walk, through the use of a ‘Tramper’.

Many of us enjoy exploring the grounds of  beautiful country houses, park areas or coast path.  We are blessed with a wide range of places to visit, where we can experience the changes in seasons, colours and sounds of nature and the peace and quiet that this can bring. Frequently such walks lead to a tea or coffee shop, with views that can continue to be enjoyed over refreshments.  Yet for many, this is where their outing begins and ends, due to being unable to walk even a small distance.

The Countryside Mobility scheme, run by Devon charity Living Options Devon, is ensuring that the South West is a truly ‘accessible’ environment for everyone by improving access to the countryside for people with limited mobility.

Based on the principle of urban Shopmobility schemes, ‘Tramper’ all-terrain mobility scooters are now available at more than 30 countryside locations across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset with more to follow.

It is a scheme which is proving extremely popular with people of all ages who want to get out and enjoy the countryside, but previously were unable.

For Nevil Salisbury-Rood, from Chard in Somerset, the Tramper has been life-changing.

Nevil said: “I really enjoy wildlife photography and I visited the Penrose Estate in Helston, Cornwall and used the Tramper because I can’t walk very far. It allowed me to get around part of the lake and out onto the South West Coast Path which is something I would never be able to do normally because of my bad leg. The coastal views are fantastic and I shot some great photos”.

The Trampers can go up and down slopes, over bumps and tree roots, through shallow puddles, mud and soft ground and are for use by anyone aged 14 or over who has a permanent or temporary condition that affects their ability to walk.  With a top speed of four miles an hour they can keep pace with the briskest walking companion.

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Everything you need to know about Rights of Way

Earlier this year I was involved with the running of a series of Ordnance Survey map reading workshops across Great Britain. One topic that regularly cropped up was rights of way – where can I go walking? Today on the Ordnance Survey blog I hope to be able to answer that question for you.

When we’re compiling the information for our maps we talk to a variety of other organisations and groups that provide different data-sets to link with the maps. When our surveyors are on the ground, or when our cartographers take information from the aerial photography that our plane has taken, they can’t always tell what the rights of way in that area are. We work with local authorities and national bodies (such as Sustrans and Natural England) to bring the information together for the maps. The maps are as accurate as they can be with the information that we have to hand at the time of the map being printed.

First of all – let’s have a look at the map and see what that tells us. What we’re looking at is the “Communications” section on the map legend. Here we can see the different types of roads and paths and public rights of way. Read More