Prior to April 2014 Peter was a senior officer in the UK Fire Service, when not at work Peter
and his wife were keen underwater explorers. mountain bikers, runners, hill walkers and
kayakers, they had very active lives.
On the 5th April 2014 this life was turned inside out and upside down, a life threatening and
life changing mountain bike crash led to Peter becoming paralysed from the chest level
Now fully dependant on a wheelchair for mobility Peter began to come to terms and adjust
to this new harder norm.
After many months learning how to deal with and manage being paralysed from such a
high-level Peter then looked at how he could return back to pursue an active outdoor life.
Having always had a love for wildlife and our wilder places - Peter began pushing the
boundaries of what he could achieve in a wheelchair. This led to Peter taking up and
Accessing wilder places, nature and the outdoor environment can present numerous
challenges to a disabled person such as I, along with in my case complex mental health
barriers and PTSD from the trauma I had endured.
Many obstacles can be found outdoors that are of no or minor consequence to most of the able population of the UK. In the past these barriers presented little challenge to overcome, whereas, to a person using a wheelchair or mobility scooter many parts of a location can be
non negotiable and form an impossible barrier. A step, even a very small one, A frames, gates, the gradient of a slope, gravel, restricted widths of an opening, a stile or adverse camber can all prevent a mobility equipment user from exploring and enjoying a location. A three-inch step can be accessible as Mt Everest to some mobility equipment users.
Whilst visiting outdoor locations Peter realised it wasn’t easy to research suitable- well
written and tested information, to judge if that specific location would be suitable as a
location, he could visit with his mobility equipment. Peter then designed and started
www.accessiblenatureuk.co and has so far written over 75 guides to wilder places. His hope
is that eventually it offers routes across the whole of the UK, and includes routes submitted
by other mobility equipment users. As an added bonus the issues faced by wheeled mobility
equipment users are the same for those who use prams and pushchairs.
It is vital and more cost effective for all organisations to engage fully with all groups of the
community, to ensure everyone's needs are met. I would advocate that it is far easier to
complete an “equality impact assessment” involving all and every type of visitor group - to
identify what a site may need regarding providing, enhancing, or improving facilities or