Nature reserve rolls out all-terrain wheelchair to beat boggy ground

An Oxfordshire nature reserve is aiming to offer guests improved accessibility after making an investment in new mobility equipment.

The Withymead nature reserve has purchased an all-terrain wheelchair to allow guests full access to the garden beyond pathways.

The newly acquired piece of equipment has thicker wheels and tyres than a regular wheelchair so it can access muddy and waterlogged areas within the park.

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The £430 device can be hired free of charge by elderly or disabled visitors and accompanying carers. Users are able to phone ahead of arrival to request the chair and will be met on arrival in the car park.

Jenny Hedge, a trustee of the Anne Carpmael Charitable Trust, which runs the reserve, told the Henley Standard: “We started discussions about improving access earlier this year. Much of our reserve is permanently wet and boggy due to flooding, even in the summer, and we wanted everyone to be able to get to the wetland areas.

“We did look at building more boardwalks or reinforcing the existing ones but that would have required tens of thousands of pounds.

The nature reserve purchased the wheelchair with a grant from the village’s Lucy Woodward Charitable Trust.

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