Disability and the Outdoors

By: G.F.

I am disabled and have to use elbow crutches and a mobility scooter to get around. When in my youth (and able bodied) I used to love going on economical holidays with my parents where we often stayed in youth hostels all over Scotland. It was a great way for me to experience life away from the maelstrom of living in a big city and taste adventure in the countryside.

Now in middle age and with restricted mobility I wondered how people in my position may experience what I did so easily when I was a boy. This interest was enhanced by a recent story on BBC Breakfast News and another blog on this website “Rambling and Funds”. One website which has a wealth of relevant information is www.ableize.com and clicking on the “Rambling” link will access several groups throughout the UK.

One for Scotland is the Highland Disabled Ramblers (HDR) and “is run by disabled people with able bodied friends”. On their outings they “usually have a ranger or professional guide with us to point out interesting objects, land features, sights, bird life or animals”. While based in Inverness they “ramble” in various places across Scotland.

Another place (not on ableize.com) which provides access to the outdoors for disabled people is Carradale bikes and buggies  (CBB). They are “situated on the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula overlooking the Kilbrannan Sound and Arran”. CBB is “situated at the Network Centre, owned by Network Carradale, a community business and registered charity”.

My mobility scooter is only really suitable for urban use and I do not own a vehicle to get me to the above mentioned rambling places where I would use a suitable scooter. The costs for me at present are prohibitive but things could change in the future and everybody`s personal circumstances are different. I hope this helps anyone disabled with an interest in the great outdoors.

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