30th June 2017
Cattle country is a great day out for families. There is lots to do for young children of all ages. There are limitations for the disabled but the park can still be enjoyed. All the staff members were very friendly, helpful and well mannered. Stuart the manager took the time out of his day to find us and answer any of our questions. An on-site vet ensurse the animals are well looked after and the park is kept clean and tidy. There are no smoking areas and first aid kits located around the park to ensure a pleasant and safe trip. Overall I would recommend this as a fun day out!
There are designated disabled parking spaces. However these were not very clearly displayed. There was an accessible double door with a ramp leading into the venue. The reception point was accessible but it was quite high.
There were lots of accessible areas for wheelchair users although there were some restricted areas.
There was a farmyard trail that can be accessed by wheelchair users. On the farmyard there were lots of animals including pigs that you could feed. There was also an area where you could wash your hands after feeding the pigs which was also accessible.
There was an indoor animal area where you could get close and personal with the animals. This was accessible for wheelchair users including the hand wash stations.
There was also an accessible grassy area with picnic benches.
There are lots of areas around the park which are great fun for kids but are inaccessible for wheelchair users. These include a huge pillow for bouncing on, mini golf, a splash pool, climbing frames, a boating lake and two soft-play areas but it is possible to watch family and friends from a short distance away.
The main downfall of the park was that there was only one disabled toilet. Considering the size of the park this is not ideal as there was another block of public toilets located at the bottom of the park where a second accessible loo could have been installed. The disabled toilet is located at the top of park, it has handrails for both side transfers. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.
It is large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and there is enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user. The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key and unfortunately there wasn’t a workable lock on the door so it’s open to all and not very private! The lighting was poor inside the toilet when the door was shut.
There is an onsite café with a ramp leading up to the double doors. The only menu was a chalk board. This wasn’t suitable for visitors who are visually impaired.
The café was light, spacious and open plan, but there were no booths. This would unsuitable for visitors sensitive to loud noises.
The food was satisfactory and served quickly and there were small round tables inside and outside that were suitable for wheelchair users.
Today, 25th April 2017, I was invited to meet Richard Graham, my local MP for Gloucester at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
I had been invited by my employer at the time, Jason Smith, chief executive of Marketing Gloucester, to discuss the details of my role as Disability Access Assessor and my progress within Marketing Gloucester. We also took the opportunity to assess the accessibility of the Houses of Parliament which was a very interesting experience.
On arrival, we started our journey at 1 Parliament Street. Once we’d got through the rigorous security process and collected our visitor ID badges, we made our way through the corridor where we were greeted by Megan Trethewey.
We then took the lift up to meet Richard Graham and we were also introduced to Charlotte Farrow, Policy Officer, Disability Issues for the Department of Work and Pensions. Charlotte took the time out of her day to discuss her job role and offer any advice and help she could, to support my project.
We discussed with Richard Graham what it is involved in my job role. I explained to him that I’m working as the Disability Access Assessor for Marketing Gloucester and my brief is to create an Accessible Disability Guide for the city of Gloucester, by visiting local tourist attractions, venues, facilities etc.
After our discussion we started the tour of the Houses of Parliament.
We left 1 Parliament Street and made our way down the lift to Portcullis House. The lift was completely accessible and had braille buttons for the visually impaired.
The stunning glass-roofed Portcullis House was completely accessible for wheelchair users. We were able to meet the then current MPs. I discussed my project with them and what my plans are for the future, hopefully to expand and provide assessment of other cities around the UK.
Nick Watts from Newsnight
Rob Wilson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Civil Society
Royston Smith & Chris Green
We then took the lift down to make our way to the Palace of Westminster. We used the tunnel that connects with the underground station, which was completely accessible, however, the lighting was extremely dim, which would be difficult for somebody who is visually impaired.
We met a few more people along the way, all busy with their occupations but taking the time to talk to me.
Kate Green, then MP for Stretford and Urmston.
Marcus Fysh, then MP for Yeovil and South Somerset.
Alok Sharma (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Minister for Asia and Pacific)
& Mark Garnier (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade)
Once inside Westminster Hall it was clearly extremely accessible. It has a large open space and it was no trouble for a wheelchair to get around on the flag-stoned floor.
Also, as you enter to the right of the building there are wheelchairs for visitors to borrow if necessary.
We made our way to the back of the Hall in order to access the Central Lobby.
Here we met Frederick the Doorkeeper who showed us where to go next.
We had to walk outside and up the ramp to be able to get into the next part of the building. There are more lifts to take you up to the Central Lobby, this is all completely accessible.
The House of Lords and the Committee Rooms are all also accessible.
St Stephen’s Hall was the only place that we came across that was inaccessible within the Central Lobby.
The outside terrace is also accessible, with a ramp leading out to it and has beautiful views of both the River Thames and the London Eye.
There is also clear access to the gift shop and café, with a glass lift leading down to both.
Sincere thanks go to Richard Graham for spending so much time with us to ensure we missed nothing. It was a very successful day and everyone we met was very welcoming, positive and interested in my work.
26th April 2017
Had fun driving the boat for Sailing for Disabled last week 👍🏼
Posted by Christian Drewitt on Wednesday, 3 May 2017
This is a fantastic attraction for all wheelchair users. Pete’s passion and care for the disabled really shows in his work and I enjoyed his company from start to finish. It is great to come across people who have a real passion for helping people with disabilities and I highly recommend this little trip. The half-mile boat trip runs Tuesdays only from 11am until 2pm
Pete owns an accessible, fully electric boat that can carry up to three wheelchairs and two crew members.
There is a ramp on the front of the boat which winds down onto the slipway for wheelchair access. Wheelchairs need to be pulled on backwards for easier access when leaving the boat. Pete or a member of the crew are happy to help with this. The boat will take you along the canal with lots of things to see.
This service is free to use however, if you wish to make a donation then you can.
19th April 2017
There is disabled parking located in the Gloucester Quays Outlet Shopping Centre.
There is a flat entrance leading into the venue with a large accessible double door.
The staff were all friendly and well-mannered, Sam helped to answer any of our questions.
There are disabled toilets located on the ground floor, these are accessible for wheelchair users.
There is enough room for a wheelchair to turn around safely.
There is enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user.
There are handrails for both transfer sides.
The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.
The toilet itself is lower than usual .
The lighting is nice and bright, the toilets are nice, clean and safe to use.
The lower ground floor of the museum is completely accessible for wheelchair users. There are lots of things to view and look at on the lower ground floor.
There is a lift located on the ground floor which will take you to first floor attractions.
The lift is wheelchair accessible. The lift is not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely. There is enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user.
The lift door closes quickly!
The lift has easy to reach buttons and the lighting is nice and bright.
On the first floor there are more attractions to see and do. There is plenty of space for a wheelchair user to get around easily.
There is a small café located on the ground floor. They serve drinks and cakes from 10am until 4.30pm.
There are a few accessible tables and a few more tables located outside.
There is also a small accessible gift shop, selling memorabilia.
24th March 2017
There is one disabled parking space situated in the car park
There is a long steep hill, leading up to the venue for the disabled access point. This is currently under construction and there are no visible sign posts telling you where to go. A second disabled parking space is planned on completion.
Although not sign posted or very clear, the reception entrance is around the building on the right hand side.
There is quite a lip leading into the door but my electric wheelchair managed to get up this okay.
The staff were very friendly and helpful, Richard took the time out of his day to show us around and answer our questions.
There is a disabled toilet located in the reception area, where you collect ski equipment.
It is accessible for wheelchair users, it is large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and there is enough room for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user.
The toilet has a handrail for both transfer sides.
The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.
The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key.
The lighting is nice and bright, the toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.
The restaurant is wheelchair accessible.
They serve food from 10am until 9pm.
They don’t offer a largerprint menu or a braille menu for the visually impaired. Nor do they offer a hearing loop for the deaf.
They allow guide dogs and all other service dogs into the building.
For wheelchair users they offer tubing sessions, with a fully qualified instructor.
They also offer a Disabled Ski Club! This is held once a month, for disabled users and people with minor disabilities. They ask for a fee of £5 towards this.
Unfortunately they don’t offer any snowboarding facilities for the disabled.
They have a changing room for disabled visitors located next to the disabled toilet.
29th March 2017
Slimbridge is a fantastic day out for all families.
It is home to over 30,000 wild birds.
There is lots of exploring to do and so much fun for little children.
Most of the park is wheelchair accessible, with good paths. However, some of the hides and walkways are inaccessible.
You can use an electric or manual wheelchair. The park offers manual wheelchairs to hire, at no cost.
You can hire an electric buggy, for a small charge of £5. You need to call in advance and book the buggy.
They are due to make the summer walkway accessible and some of the inaccessible hides will be getting a face- lift.
There is an outdoor theatre coming soon and also an app for your smartphone to use, whilst walking around the park.
My only bit of advice for anyone who is able bodied, bring wellies!
The staff were all extremely helpful, friendly and well mannered. Jackie took the time out of her day to answer our questions. Jackie was extremely helpful and showed a lot of support towards my project.
There are plenty of disabled parking spaces located in the car park and a disabled toilet, too.
There is a ramp leading up to the entrance of the venue.
Before entering the venue you have to disinfect your feet or wheels of your wheelchair.
There is a mat and wheel wash provided.
There is a large double automatic door leading into the venue, with a button for disabled users to press, which will open this door.
In the reception area there is a lowered section of the desk for wheelchair users.
Once inside you can go and collect bird food from the volunteers stand and also collect your tokens to access the Viewing Platform.
Start of the adventure.
There is a lift which will take you up to the Platform.
This is accessible for wheelchair users, it is not large enough to turn a wheelchair around in safely but there is room for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user.
The lift has easy to reach buttons but the light within the lift is quite dim.
The Viewing Platform gives you a 360 degree panoramic view of the Wetlands. I had no trouble viewing this using my electric wheelchair.
There is a large ramp leading from the main reception down to where the attractions start.
The Toad Hall, is a fantastic little area where you can view toads. There are toys, games and a soft play area. They also do handling sessions and talks on the toads.
Once outside you walk over a bridge taking you to try and spot all the different birds.
Along the walk you will come to a part called the Wader Shore, this has slight rough gravel so a little bumpy for the electric wheelchair.
There are flat footpaths leading all around the park which makes it really accessible for wheelchair users.
The South Lake Discovery hide is absolutely fantastic for wheelchair users, there are lots of low windows for you to be able to look outside and see all of the wild birds.
If suitable for you, they have binoculars so you can have a closer look at the birds.
This is definitely the best hide for wheelchair accessibility.
Along the walk you will come across a few gates, these are fairly easy to use by lifting the latch and pushing the gate. This is quite difficult to do if you are in a wheelchair so the help of a PA or family member will be needed.
We came across the Otter pool which was a nice surprise, there is great flat decking all around the pool so you can get a really good view of the otters.
There is a cave that will take you through to see the otters swimming underneath the water.
The Flamingo Lagoon has a fantastic accessible hide, which gives you a great view of the flamingos and the lagoon.
We decided to have a look inside the Tropical House.
You must disinfect your wheels and shoes before entering.
The floor inside is extremely bumpy and uneven but completely accessible and definitely worth a look inside.
We stopped off at the Kiosk, not far from the Chilean Flamingo’s. There are disabled toilets located by the Kiosk and tables for you to sit at to have your snack. However, you cannot fit a wheelchair under any of the benches by the Kiosk.
Not far from the Kiosk is the Kingfisher hide, we were advised that this is wheelchair accessible but we didn’t make it that far to have a look.
We then headed back towards the main reception. There is another tower called the Holden Tower, however, this is inaccessible for wheelchair users.
There are two places to eat within the venue. The Swan Café located upstairs in the main reception and the main restaurant downstairs.
In the main restaurant the seating plan is open with lots of long tables, easily accessible for wheelchair users. There are lots of open windows so the lighting is extremely good within the restaurant.
There is a little gift shop as you exit the park which is filled with lots of nice gifts and souvenirs if you wish to purchase them.
You exit the park through the gift shop which will take you straight back to the car park.
You will need to disinfect your wheels and shoes before leaving the attraction, wheel wash and disinfectant mat is provided.