Take a walk on the wild side thanks to improved access at Cow Green
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
DISABLED people, those who rely on mobility scooters and toddlers in buggies can now enjoy more upper dale beauty spots thanks to a £13,000 access upgrade.
Footpaths to Cow Green reservoir and its picnic spot and dam, as well as to Cauldron Snout, have been improved to allow on anyone who relies on wheels to get around to have access.
Also included is a new, fully Tarmacked disabled parking area.
Martin Furness, of Natural England, said the improvements were identified during an accessibility study for the Moor House Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve.
He added: “There are not many places in the country’s upland areas where there is this kind of access.”
The upgrade was made possible thanks to cash from Natural England as well as the nature reserve’s friends group which received funding through Middleton-in-Teesdale’s Co-op store’s community fund.
The work was carried out by CW Nicholson contractors.
Reserve volunteer Mo Dobbie was among the first to use the new access on her mobility scooter. She said: “It is a smooth ride and very impressive. It is very important because I can now be dropped off [at the carpark] and get to Cauldron Snout, even on my low-grade mobility scooter. It’s very impressive.”
Mr Furness added: “Although delivery was held up for a time by the coronavirus outbreak, I am delighted that the work has been completed to a very good standard.
“We hope that the improvements will deliver a better experience for disabled visitors those with young families and anyone wanting to use the Nature Trail who is dependent on wheeled support.”
Chairman of the friends group Godfrey Williams said: “The trail at Cow Green provides a great opportunity to experience the special wild landscape of upper Teesdale and its particular plants, birds and animals. We are very happy to have been able to support this work and are very grateful to the Co-op Local Community Fund for helping raise extra money.
“Hopefully, we can go on to help deliver further projects to benefit the national nature reserve, local people and visitors.”
Next on the group’s agenda is to improve the interpretation and guidance boards at Low Force, which will again involve the Co-op’s community fund.