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Enabling easy access to the South West's beauty spots

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to hire a Tramper or Wheelyboat?

Anyone wishing to use a Tramper at one of our hire sites needs to become a member of Countryside Mobility. This costs £2.50 for a 2 week Taster Membership or £10 for Annual membership.

Hire sites can choose whether to have a hire charge or not so it is best to check with the individual sites. The majority invite a donation which contributes towards their efforts to improve access while others (particularly if they have an entry fee) may provide the service free of charge. At sites where there is a hire fee it should normally be a maximum of £2.50 per hour (or equivalent).

Wheelyboat hire charges vary at all sites and range from £30-£60 for a half-day hire. Please contact specific sites for accurate costs.

Do I have to be 'registered' as disabled or have a Blue Badge?

You do not have to be 'registered' as disabled or have a Blue Badge to join the scheme and use the mobility equipment. The scheme is open to anyone who has difficulty walking because of a a temporary or permanent mobility impairment.

What happens if I get lost or break down on a Tramper?

All of the sites listed on this website have been thoroughly checked by Countryside Mobility staff and access auditors to make sure they are safe and easy for you to use with a Tramper. When you visit a site you will be given a map showing which paths or areas of the site can be accessed with the Tramper and site staff will explain any areas that cannot be visited.

The paths on most sites are also usually way-marked so it should be difficult to get lost! When you take the Tramper out, staff will give you a phone number to call should you have any problems so you will need to take a mobile phone with you. Where mobile phone signal isn’t very good you may need a companion with you to assist or go and get help should something happen.

We also make sure that each site has a system in place to deal with breakdowns or any other issues. This means they can quickly get to you or get you back to where you started in the very unlikely instance that you have a problem.

How do I hire and use a Wheelyboat?

Some Wheelyboats are hired on a 'self drive' basis with instruction provided by staff.  At other sites someone else will drive the boat as part of an organised boat trip.  Please contact the site directly to discuss this.

Wheelyboats can be hired for fishing or sightseeing. Costs vary per site. The boat can carry a maximum of 8 passengers or 5 wheelchair passengers. Please ring the site directly for more information and to book the Wheelyboat.

What types of membership are available?

There are two types of membership available:

  • Annual membership lasts for 12 months and costs £10.00
  • Taster membership lasts for 2 weeks and costs £2.50. This is ideal if you are visiting the area or if you want to try a Tramper without committing to the full membership. You can upgrade to an Annual Membership which will be dated from the start of your Taster Membership. 

Who can become a member and use a Tramper?

Anyone aged 14 and over who has a permanent or temporary physical disability, or a condition that affects walking ability, can apply to become a member.

The safety of our members and other visitors at our sites is very important to us and there are some Terms and Conditions of Use that apply to the scheme.

Make sure you read through these terms and conditions before completing your application form to check you are eligible to join. Unfortunately, for safety and insurance reasons not everyone will be able to join the scheme.

What does the application process include?

Read the Countryside Mobility Medical and Health Information and Terms and Conditions of use and carefully check that the scheme and equipment are suitable for you - you are the best judge of your own ability.

Contact your chosen site to book your first time ‘Tramper Training’ – this will last a maximum of 15 minutes and is a short familiarisation session to make sure all the Trampers functions and controls are understood.

Attend your chosen site and ensure you take the following documents:

  • Photo ID (Photo driving licence, Blue Badge, bus pass, passport).
  • Proof of address (Utility bill, bank statement, credit card bill, council tax bill)
  • The appropriate membership fee (any cheques made payable to ‘Living Options Devon’)

After your training site staff will get you to complete and sign a Membership Application Form. You will keep a copy of this form to use as proof of Temporary Membership when visiting other sites and a copy will be sent to us. If you have applied to become an annual member then we will send you annual members card as soon as we can.

Please note: If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must provide photo ID and accompany you for the Tramper Training and at each site visit.

Where can I use the equipment?

The mobility equipment is available to hire at close to 40 countryside sites and visitor attractions across the South West region. The equipment can only be used on paths and trails at our sites and cannot be taken away for use elsewhere. Visit our Locations page for an up to date list of sites participating on the scheme.

What does the training include?

The ‘Tramper training’ is designed to make sure you have the skills and confidence to safely operate a Tramper at our sites.

You will be given a 5-10 minute training session at your chosen site. You will be instructed on how to use the Tramper. Once you have been trained and have signed up as a member you can use the Trampers at any of our participating host sites for only £2.50 per hour! Check our website for an up to date list of sites.

(Wheelyboat hire requires different training, available from the host site)

How do I apply for membership?

Read the Countryside Mobility Medical and Health Information and Terms and Conditions of use and carefully check that the scheme and equipment are suitable for you - you are the best judge of your own ability.

Contact your chosen site to book your first time ‘Tramper Training’ – this will last a maximum of 15 minutes and is a short familiarisation session to make sure all the Trampers functions and controls are understood.

Attend your chosen site and ensure you take the following documents:

  • Photo ID (Photo driving licence, Blue Badge, bus pass, passport).
  • Proof of address (Utility bill, bank statement, credit card bill, council tax bill)
  • The appropriate membership fee (any cheques made payable to ‘Living Options Devon’)

After your training site staff will get you to complete and sign a Membership Application Form. You will keep a copy of this form to use as proof of Temporary Membership when visiting other sites and a copy will be sent to us. If you have applied to become an annual member then we will send you annual members card as soon as we can.

Please note: If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must provide photo ID and accompany you for the Tramper Training and at each site visit.

What equipment can be hired?

The Countryside Mobility scheme currently operates Tramper buggies and wheelchair accessible wheelyboats

Tramper Buggy - a mobility buggy designed to be used safely on rough and uneven ground, mud and grass. It is very robust, with light, accurate steering and tailored suspension, making it easy to handle and comfortable to ride on. For more information visit the manufacturers website.

Wheelyboat - the boats are the Mk III Wheelyboat. They are custom-built and designed to accommodate disabled people and wheelchair users in particular. There is ‘roll-on, roll-off’ access via the hinged bow door/ramp and the deck is made from non-slip aluminium tread plate, making them safe and easy to use. For more information visit the Wheelyboat Trust website.

How do I book the equipment?

All our equipment has to be booked in advance directly with the host site. You can find the contact telephone number or email address for each site in 'Locations' page of this website.

What restrictions apply to use of the equipment?

The safety of our members and other visitors visiting our sites is very important to us. Because of this there are some restrictions on how and where the equipment can be used.

  • You must complete some basic training before hiring a Tramper for the first time to demonstrate they can operate the Tramper safely.
  • You need to provide valid photo ID - driving licence, Blue Badge, Bus Pass, passport; and proof of address - bank statement, utility bill, credit card bill.
  • The hire periods and induction session times will vary at each site according to staff availability and opening hours.
  • Site staff will advise which routes are suitable for the Tramper - weather conditions may restrict access to certain routes.
  • Trampers are limited to a maximum of 4mph for safety reasons.
  • There are Terms and Conditions of Tramper use - users must sign a disclaimer each time they want to hire a Tramper to confirm that they still meet them each time equipment is hired.
  • You are required to carry a mobile phone and any other safety items issued by site staff.
  • We recommend that you are accompanied when using a Tramper but at some sites this is compulsory.

For more details visit the Membership page.

I am a Temporary member, how do I upgrade to an Annual member?

If you have a Taster membership we would love you to upgrade to becoming an Annual Member so that you have time to enjoy the full range of sites on offer.

You can upgrade:

  • At one of our sites - just pay the £7.50 and provide the membership number (shown top right on the form you were given when you first joined) along with the original site name.
  • Print and complete our Upgrade Form, quoting your temporary membership number and return to us with a cheque for £7.50 (payable to ‘Living Options Devon’).
  • Alternatively you can upgrade online through our membership page.

We will then send you a new membership card. This will be valid for 12 months from the date your Taster Membership started. 

Guidance for potential partner sites - Is our site suitable to become a CMSW site?

For a countryside site to be suitable for this project it should have:

  • A suitable (and interesting) network of paths that are safely accessible to a Tramper buggy or sheltered stretch of water for the Wheelyboats.
  • Accessible facilities - toilets, parking, visitor centre etc.
  • Secure storage for the vehicle when not in use.
  • Staff on site (ideally including weekends and holidays) who are able to spare the time to assess users and book the vehicles in and out.

If your organisation or visitor attraction is interested on becoming a 'host site' please contact us on 01392 822372 for more details.

Guidance for potential partner sites - How much will it cost our organisation to become a CMSW site?

CMSW leases Tramper scooters to partner sites in return for an annual payment of £995. This payment covers the cost of insurance, staff training, health and safety guidance and all servicing and maintenance of the Tramper. Sites can charge for the rental of the Tramper to members for a recommended charge of £2.50 per hour. This rental income can be kept by the site to help cover costs. There is an additonal one-off fee that covers an access audit/ risk assessment and initial training for site staff/ volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming a CMSW site please contact us on 01392 822372 or [email protected]

Guidance for potential partner sites - How is the scheme managed?

The scheme is managed by a part-time Project Manager hosted by the charity, Living Options Devon . There is also a part-time officer who oversees the operation of the membership scheme and a number of volunteers who help enter membership forms onto the database.  

The CMSW Project Board was established to have overall responsibility to provide overall direction and management of the project. 

Guidance for potential partner sites - What kind of staff training will be necessary?

Staff training is provided by CMSW staff and covers all aspects of the scheme including the use of the Tramper scooter, health and safety, disability awareness and all CMSW systems and operational procedures.  It is recommended that partner organisations ensure that all site staff complete first aid training and are CRB checked if lone working.

Wheelyboats are managed independantly by host sites by qualified staff using the appropriate hire boat codes of conduct.

I have limited strength or control in one arm - can I use the Tramper?

Our health and medical requirements state that "You should have sufficient upper body strength, upper limb mobility and hand dexterity to grip both Tramper handlebar grips securely and operate the twist grip". The Tramper uses handlebars for steering and a twist grip to start and stop - speed is controlled using a combination of a dial and a switch.

To assist there is a switch on the Tramper that allows you to choose which twist grip to use - left or right. 

The key factor is therefore whether you can safely steer and control the Tramper.

We encourage anyone who would like to see whether the Tramper is suitable for them to go to one of our hire locations and try the Tramper. If you find you can control it safely in the induction at the hire base then the membership will be processed and you can head off to explore using the recommended routes. The member of staff or volunteer hiring the scooter has the authority to make the final decision as to whether it will be safe for you to proceed. If it is not possible, any membership fee paid will naturally be refunded. 

One of the reasons that it is not possible to become a member online or in advance is because a key element of becoming a member is demonstrating during the induction that you can safely control the Tramper. 

We therefore suggest that you contact the hire location in advance, explain your situation and book a Tramper. If for some reason the person you contact at the hire location is unsure then please make contact with Countryside Mobility direct.  

It may be possible that you are able to control the Tramper safely with the assistance of your companion. If this is the case then both names will be recorded on the membership form/ card and this combination of people will be able to use the Tramper in future. 

If a hire site has more than one Tramper route then they may be able to advise you as to which routes will be easiest for you or parts of the route that could be more difficult.