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New routes and rugged scooters to help more people to access the coast and countryside

Morecambe Bay Partnership is helping more people enjoy being outdoors by making all-terrain mobility scooters freely available at two sites in South Lakeland.

The first to launch is at Roudsea Woods and Mosses National Nature Reserve near Haverthwaite and will be officially opened on 7 January 2019 by former Government minister and Penrith and the Border MP David Maclean, Lord Blencathra, deputy chair of Natural England.

One in ten of Cumbria’s population lack the strength or mobility to walk far. Through this “More to Explore” project, Morecambe Bay Partnership is opening up the countryside to many more people and helping families and carers to enjoy being outdoors together. “More to Explore” offers seven routes around Morecambe Bay which are suitable for a wide range of users including prams and wheelchairs. Route guides can be downloaded from the website www.moretoexplore.uk which also serves as the enquiry point for Tramper hire. Trampers are rugged, electric powered, all terrain mobility scooters.

Lord Blencathra, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, and champion for disabled access to the countryside, said: “This is a great example of partnership working to ensure that our countryside can rightfully be enjoyed by everyone. Improved access will help to connect more people with their natural environment, giving them a chance to enjoy our countryside, its open space and fascinating wildlife – all key aspects of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.”

“I am delighted to open this new route created by Natural England in Roudsea National Nature Reserve. And equally pleased to formally open Morecambe Bay Partnership’s “More to Explore” programme of routes and mobility scooters. These will bring new opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors and offers such a positive difference to many people’s lives.”

Susannah Bleakley, chief executive at Morecambe Bay Partnership, said: “There’s plenty of evidence that being outdoors gives us a boost, improving our social lives as well as physical and mental health. Imagine a mother who can’t walk far because of health problems; a couple, who chose to live here because they loved the outdoors and yet, after a stroke or illness, are unable to take the rambles they once loved; or a grandfather recovering from ill-health and not able to join in with picnics, or days out with grandchildren on coastal walks. For all of these people, and for their families and friends, the opportunities to enjoy nature and the benefits of a coastal or country walk are rather limited.”

This project offers Trampers to hire on a give-what-you-can basis, from two locations in South Lakeland. The first at Haverthwaite will give access to Roudsea Wood and Mosses National Nature Reserve. A second Tramper hire point in Grange-over-Sands will launch later in the year.

Miss Bleakley added, “We are very keen to expand this in future. There are thousands of people in South Lakeland and around the Bay who cannot easily explore the countryside and enjoy the uplifting views and landscape of Morecambe Bay. We’d be delighted to hear from anyone who can support this work with a gift or by volunteering their time. Please contact us via [email protected]

Morecambe Bay Partnership is also looking for volunteers to support the project including helping with the Tramper hires.

To find out more, book a Tramper or download a route guide visit www.moretoexplore.uk or telephone Morecambe Bay Partnership on 01539 734888.

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