Peter Lau -Wildlife Photographer






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

down.

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

self-teaching himself

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

access.