On 26 May Phil Chambers Consultancy carried out our first disability access audit to determine how best to implement improvements within the park for disabled users. The audit comes alongside our plans to make the park more manageable for those with a disability, or limited mobility, and in direct response to public suggestions that access needs improving.
To help with the audit, the Box Moor Trust’s Access for All group also visited the park, to share their thoughts on making some of the walking routes more accessible. The group of eight, which consisted of wheelchair users, and those who were visually impaired or deaf, tested out part of the popular Oak Trail, which covers the Orangery, house site and the Panshanger Great Oak, as well the route down to the Dragonfly Trail from Thieves Lane car park. The visit enabled the Access for All group to share their thoughts on our existing plans for improving accessibility, as well as highlighting some new and innovative ideas that we hadn’t previously looked at.
Ian Richardson, General Manager at the Box Moor Trust, said: “The Access for All group, supported by the Box Moor Trust, were delighted to be asked to contribute to the planned improvements at Panshanger Park. It was a real pleasure to tour some of the key areas and hear of its history, conservation and projects for the future, to ensure that as many people as possible can share in the delights.”
Both Tarmac and Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust are committed to making the park as disability-friendly as possible, so everyone can enjoy the historic landscape and diverse wildlife it has to offer. The input of organisations like the Box Moor Trust will be central to improving and managing access within the park and we look forward to implementing some of their ideas.
We are currently drafting a report detailing both the short and long term changes that we will be endeavouring to make to the park. These will be published on our website when finalised.