Parke now open to all thanks to launch of ‘off road’ mobility scooter hire scheme!
An all-terrain mobility scooter that can go ‘off road’ is opening up the National Trust’s Parke estate, near Bovey Tracey, to people who have difficulty walking.
The ‘Tramper’ scooter has been provided by the Devon based charity Living Options Devon as part of a scheme to open up the countryside to people with limited mobility. Called Countryside Mobility South West, www.countrysidemobility.org, the scheme has introduced Trampers to around 30 sites across the region
The scheme is proving extremely popular with people of all ages who want to get out and enjoy the countryside. For Mrs Love from Nailsea, the Tramper has been an enormous help.
She said: “ I visited Parke today with my family and we had a great visit. I was able to go to so many more places than I could have without the Tramper”
The rangers have been working hard over the past few years to make the estate and surrounding paths at Parke as accessible to as many people as possible but due to the wild nature of the site this has been challenging. The Tramper now based here changes all that and means people who have difficulty walking can explore much more of the estate when they visit.
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.
James Maben from Countryside Mobility explained: “Trampers are for everyone who wants to enjoy the countryside but can’t manage much walking. You do not have to be registered as a disabled person, or have a Blue Badge. Many people have found that Trampers have given them back their freedom, enabling them to enjoy time outdoors alone, with their partner or on a family outing”.
To use the Trampers, people simply choose a site and arrange their first visit. On arrival, they join as members of Countryside Mobility which costs £10.00 per year or £2.50 for 4 weeks. Training is provided on how to use a Tramper lasting approximately 10 minutes. They are then given a membership card, which enables them to use a Tramper at any partner site without the need for further training. There is a small hire charge to be paid for each visit.
The scheme has been supported with a grant from Natural England as part of its Access to Nature programme, funded from the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme and is being developed through a partnership between organisations that manage countryside sites across the region.