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Accessible heritage sites for all

Glendurgan Garden to improve accessibility for visitors

Date Posted: 29 April 2019

Glendurgan Garden, a National Trust property near Falmouth, recently introduced a brand new all-terrain mobility scooter, to help improve access for visitors. 

The all-terrain mobility scooter, known as a ‘Tramper’, allows visitors with mobility limitations to explore the Cornish gardens more fully, as well as visiting areas previously viewed as too difficult for them to access.

Trampers are specifically designed to travel easily over uneven ground; allowing them to go up and down slopes, over bumps and tree roots, as well as through shallow puddles and mud. 

The Tramper at Glendugan was introduced a few weeks ago at the beginning of the season, and is available for visitors that struggle with walking - whether through age, or a permanent or temporary condition.   You do not have to be registered disabled or have a Blue Badge to use it.

Katie Reynolds, Visitor Experience Officer for the Gardens, stated:

“We’re thrilled to offer a Tramper here at Glendurgan. The steep valley paths in the garden can pose a challenge for some visitors; however, the Tramper navigates the garden with ease. It’s been a real joy to see visitors return from their visit to the gardens with a beaming smile, saying how much it meant to them now they can visit the garden alongside their friends or family.”

The Glendurgan Garden Tramper is one of 15 to be introduced by the Heritage Ability project, a three-year project funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund. The project aims at helping to improve accessibility for disabled and Deaf people (using British Sign Language) to over 20 heritage sites in the South West.

The 15 Heritage Ability Trampers purchased through the project will then operate as part of the Countryside Mobility Scheme, which offers to hire Trampers to visitors at nearly 50 beauty spots around South West England.

Neil Warren, Manager of the Countryside Mobility, stated:

“We’re delighted that the new Tramper has been so well received. I’ve been really impressed by the enthusiasm of the team at Glendurgan, who have helped to make their beautiful gardens easier to explore for those who would otherwise struggle. I’ve no doubt the Tramper will continue to prove popular with visitors and locals alike.”

Visitors wishing to hire a Tramper for the first time can join the Countryside Mobility Scheme on arrival at Glendurgan, where staff will provide initial training.  Membership, which then allows access to all the sites with Trampers, costs £10 for one year or £2.50 for a 2-week ‘Taster’ membership. For more information on membership or booking a Tramper, contact the site. Visit their website.

Members are strongly advised to phone and book the Tramper in advance of their visit to avoid disappointment. 

Both Heritage Ability and the Countryside Mobility Scheme are projects developed and run by Living Options Devon, a local user-led charity, where all of their initiatives are developed or supported by people who have a first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by disabled and Deaf people.