Wakefield wheelchair users get access to the countryside through ‘Open Country’

Open Country giving wheelchair users access to the countryside
Open Country giving wheelchair users access to the countryside

Access to the countryside is a right not a privilege - that’s the message from Wakefield charity, Open Country, which unlocks the countryside for wheelchair users.

The charity gives wheelchair users across the Wakefield district the opportunity to join them on their weekend outings to sites across the Yorkshire rural landscape.

Open Country’s Wild About Wakefield project gives people with a disability the chance to get out into the countryside to enjoy a variety of activities including walking, cycling, conservation, nature study and outings.

Fully accessible transport and support from their staff and team of volunteers enable members to improve their health and wellbeing by enjoying the pleasures of being outdoors.

Margery, from Crigglestone, has been a member of Open Country’s Weekend Outings Group since it was launched over a year ago and she said: “I am lonely at the moment, except for my dog, so it is nice to be in a group doing things I love again.”

Eve is the sister-in-law of one of Open Country’s disabled members. She said: “Open Country can greatly help local people in Wakefield who are alone and housebound to get out more.”

Ella Dixon is the Wild About Wakefield Project Officer and is keen to show how Open Country can enable anyone to access and enjoy the outdoors and she said: “Here in Yorkshire we are lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK. Yet just one percent of it is accessible to wheelchair users, with additional challenges for those with other physical or sensory impairments.”

Wheelchair users interested in joining Open Country call Ella Dixon on 07426 716677 or email wakefield@opencountry.org.uk.