Report from Sensing the Dales Day

Many thanks to Meghann, Access Development Officer,  for Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, for providing this report from the ‘Sensing the Dales’ Event which was held last September.

On Saturday 4 September 2010 the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Natural England and Bolton Abbey Estate joined forces to provide a day of activities accessible to deaf and blind people and their families.

Activities included stream dipping, making a bee home, guided walks, rag-rug making, MP3 trails, worm hunts, practical conservation tasks, green woodworking and trying out all terrain motor scooters, provided by Lancashire Council. The activities were made accessible for deaf and blind people through the provision of suitable equipment, visual aids and interpreters.

Fun at Bolton Abbey

Sense the Dales was held as a pilot to explore new ways of encouraging more people with disabilities to visit the National Park and to take part in its annual events programme. During the day the views and suggestions from participants were collected and some of these will be used to increase accessibility of events for the next year.

The day was run by a small team of staff from Natural England, Park Management and External Affairs and Dales Volunteers. Everyone had a lovely day, over 100 people took part and we have collected lots of simple, inexpensive ideas to increase accessibility of National Park events and other activities over the next year.

‘I was surprised at the willingness of National Park staff (and volunteers!) to experiment and learn’

‘The organisation was fantastic. The excellent communication re interpreters,

lip-speakers etc, made everything perfect’

‘I was able to get to places I have not been able to for years due to my disability’

Thank you to the Dales Volunteers who made the day such a success.

Catherine Kemp and Rachel Briggs

Many thanks to the  Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Natural England for organising this event.

Looking forward to this year’s event…. further details will be published as soon as information is available

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