How Peterborough’s Nene Park is welcoming for disabled residents

A wide range of activities and services are helping to make sure all residents can enjoy Nene Park in Peterborough.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 7:17 am

The PT’s Peterborough Unlimited campaign has shone a light on how unwelcoming the city centre is for disabled residents,

But as part of our campaign we’ve also been highlighting places which have made themselves disability friendly.

This includes Nene Park Trust which runs: Ferry Meadows, Orton Meadows, Orton Mere, Woodston Reach, Thorpe Meadows and the Rural Estate, made up of parkland, meadows, woodlands and lakes.

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A Disability Peterborough Walks on Wednesday
A Disability Peterborough Walks on Wednesday

The trust has fully accessible toilets, as well as wheelchair accessible picnic tables and a range of activities.

It said: “We welcome all visitors to Nene Park and our team will do all they can to ensure people enjoy their visit. The trust works with a range of organisations and individuals including our own Nene Park Access Forum to improve and promote access for all at the park.

“Nene Park Trust’s aim is to provide as equal access to Nene Park and its facilities and services as is practically possible by eliminating barriers where they exist and making reasonable adjustments to provide an inclusive experience for all visitors.

“The accessibility pages of our website provides a wealth of visitor information about the accessibility at Ferry Meadows, Thorpe Meadows, the Rural Estate, Orton Mere and Woodston Reach and we encourage visitors with any questions or feedback about access or the park’s facilities to contact us, as the team is always happy to help.”

The accessible changing room at Nene Outdoors Watersports & Activity Centre

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Accessibility at Nene Park

. Dedicated accessible parking at Ferry Meadows, Thorpe Meadows, Orton Mere and Orton Meadows

. Free mobility scooter hire at Ferry Meadows

. A range of seating, including wheelchair accessible picnic tables

. Accessible toilets and changing facility at Ferry Meadows

. Induction loops at many of the visitor buildings at Ferry Meadows

. Listening devices available for Nene Park Trust guided walks

. RNIB Map for All (a map designed to be read by sight and touch) located outside the Discovery Den Education Centre and Lakeside of Ferry Meadows

. Parklife magazine available in audio format

. Home to Peterborough Sailability (sailing for the disabled)

. Home to Disability Peterborough’s Walks on Wednesday

. Accessible fishing stands and wildlife viewing platforms

. A wheelchair accessible miniature railway carriage.

Your Community Greenspace project

The proposals, which have recently received funding, include a wide ranging programme of activities and events with an aim to be inclusive to all, including sensory guided walks and culture-themed activities alongside travel opportunities to support groups getting to and around Nene Park.

It also includes improvements to the main welcome area in Ferry Meadows, renovation of the toilet block with inclusion of a Changing Places facility (fully accessible toilets) and replacing Pontoon Bridge with a wider, fixed structure.

Ferry Meadows Café toilets

It is hoped works will be undertaken this year to deliver high quality individual toilet cubicles providing more space, a new accessible toilet and a quiet room incorporating an accessible baby change facility.

Accessible boat trips

To ensure this tranquil experience is as accessible as possible a gently sloping boarding ramp onto a hydraulic platform, enabling up to two wheelchair users on board at any time, is currently under development.

Fox Play

This will be the largest of our play areas and is designed to offer natural adventurous play for a wide range of ages and abilities.  

It will include a wheelchair accessible wobbly bridge, hand pump for water forest at child/seated height on a concrete surface, a wide slide so that an adult can assist a child to slide down, a range of swings, four seater seesaw so an adult can sit with a child, level, surfaced paths for access between equipment and to the wider park, natural sensory materials, a range of seating and close proximity to car park and toilets, including the accessible changing facility at Nene Outdoors.

Engagement

The Nene Park Access Forum is a group of individuals and organisations who are interested in helping to make Nene Park as accessible to all as possible and meet twice a year.

The trust also works with disability organisations and external experts to help inform its work and decisions.