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UK’s first high ropes course for wheelchair users

LOTS of young disabled adventurers have spent many exhilarating days at the Lake District’s fantastic disability outdoor centre at The Calvert Trust.

For more than 40 years, the Trust have created tailor-made courses to enable disabled people to sample the great outdoors – from sailing on Bassenthwaite to horse riding, abseiling, and orienteering the fells.

Now there’s something even more exciting on offer ­ – the UK’s first high ropes course for wheelchair users!

The sloping woods behind the centre lets wheelchair users access the course, before using the horizontal ropes and obstacles which take them to a maximum height of 10 meters.

Using a series of trees as the main supports, the 100 meters course stretches across eight platforms, with seven separate challenges.

To celebrate the opening, a group from the spinal injuries charity BackUp were given a sneak preview.

Julie Hill, group leader at BackUp, said: “This is just fantastic. It’s something we wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else in the country.

“As a specialist centre, The Calvert Trust was already a great destination for us, but this is really the icing on the cake.”

Sean Day, director at the Lake District Calvert Trust, added: “We wanted to make our residential stays at the centre more exciting, creating a unique course that could challenge both those with learning difficulties and those with restricted mobility.

“We already had a wheelchair accessible challenge course and zip wire on site, so our task was to think about how to make a high ropes course accessible so it could get maximum use from our visitors.”

The course was designed and developed by adventure specialist Technical Outdoor Solutions.

It cost £84,000 and was funded by Harold and Alice Bridges Charity, the Bailey Thomas Charitable Fund, the Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund, and a personal donation from Michael Toulmin, who until 2015 was a trustee of The Calvert Trust.

Founded in 1978, the Calvert Trust’s vision was to enable people with disabilities to benefit from outdoor activities in the countryside.

It was the first of its kind in the UK and now welcomes 3,500 guests every year.

The Calvert Trust, tel 017687 72255 or email:


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