Working with Hardcastle Crags

Accessibility. Our first meeting by Les Allan – member of the Accessible Calderdale Disability Access Forum

I was picked up by Community Transport for Calderdale and taken to Hardcastle Crags for our initial meeting with Chris Bryerley.

Challenges and Solutions for Visitors with Disabilities

My recent visit to Hardcastle Crags with the Accessible Calderdale Disability Access Forum highlighted some accessibility concerns. Let’s explore these issues and potential solutions to make this beautiful site inclusive for everyone.

Transportation Barriers: Limited Options and Narrow Roads

Reaching Hardcastle Crags itself presented the first hurdle. Limited public transport options, particularly outside peak season, and a narrow access road pose challenges for larger vehicles. We propose exploring solutions like using community transport minibuses, not just for disabled visitors but anyone facing transportation difficulties.

Sensory Overload at Gibson Mill: Seeking a Quieter Meeting Space

The initial meeting location at Gibson Mill proved disruptive due to noise from barking dogs, deliveries, and cafe patrons. This raises the importance of offering alternative meeting spaces with quieter environments, considering both sun exposure and shade preferences to ensure visitor comfort.

Accessibility Beyond the Main Path: Reaching the River for All

The river experience is central to enjoying Hardcastle Crags. We discussed ways to enhance accessibility along the riverside for visitors with mobility limitations, without significant financial outlays. These might include levelling uneven paths, smoothing out surfaces, and creating accessible connections from the main path to the riverside.

Working Together for a More Inclusive Hardcastle Crags

I’m optimistic that by collaborating with the National Trust, we can implement these improvements and make Hardcastle Crags a truly accessible destination for everyone.

By Les Allan

Access For All

Access for all is the way forward

Access for all is more than policy when it comes to businesses, visitor attractions and community spaces.  Accessibility is being taken seriously in todays business market and the benefits are quickly mounting.

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National Trust and Accessible Tourism

The National Trust’s focus

The national trust is one of the UK’s home treasures. With beaches, gardens, pubs, lighthouses and parks, their presence all around the UK has given the public years of great experiences and education.  Like most attraction providers though, the national trust are aware that there are always improvements to their customer service and experiences, so they called us in to help out.

Open minded to accessibility

We joined some of the national trust groups and what a pleasure to work with them. We met up with Sara and her team at North Lincolnshire and South Nottinghamshire National Trust properties and had a fantastic day sharing our strategies and visitor journeys with them.

Katie and myself delivered our ‘Customer Service for All’ one day programme to delegates from The Workhouse, Gunby Estate, Hall and GardensBelton House and Tattershall Castle.  Delegates participated with tremendous enthusiasm and commitment and as always, we came away with so much as well.

What did the national trust take away?

Our learning outcomes included:

  • Building confidence and customer service skills in meeting the needs of visitors with access needs
  • Addressing inclusive operational practice
  • Action planning all aspects relating to accessibility
National trust trianing
Reflective practice

 

Our one day’s training is packed not just with the; what needs to be done, but the understanding of why your changes make a huge difference.  We involve you in the whole journey as much as the structured planning.

 

 

 

Sara offered her feedback.

‘Visits Unlimited were excellent to work with. They came with a can do attitude, shared their knowledge freely and supported the group throughout the day. The staff team felt that this was one of the most positive training sessions that they had experienced and that what they learnt would be easy to use in the workplace. Thanks Matt and Katie for spending a rewarding day and sharing your knowledge and your life experiences with us.’

Sara Blair-Manning – General Manager, North Lincolnshire & South Nottinghamshire.