Tuesday 18 September 2018
Enjoying the natural environment is an experience many of us take for granted, but for over 20% of us it is currently impossible. The centre has been launched following publication of a new British Standard which requires ‘the least restrictive option’ to be made available to the public for improved countryside access.
Real examples of the latest equipment to improve ‘gaps, gates and stiles’ (as set out in BS 5709:2018) are available in situ for visitors to try out and test. Courses will be available to help understanding of the new standard and its application, installation and maintenance of equipment and safe and appropriate usage.
Over many years Natural England, the government’s advisors on the natural environment, have worked in partnership with The British Horse Society, Centrewire and the Pittecroft Trust to develop the National Land Access Centre, and its launch coincides with the 60th anniversary of Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve. Since 1994, the public have been encouraged to explore the reserve unimpeded by unnecessary stiles, gates and fences and the installation of easy-access gates. The launch of the National Land Access Centre builds on this heritage and ensures those who often struggle will also be able to access the countryside in future.