Helping more people access the outdoors

Rachel Parry, our Outdoor Access and Recreation Advisor, explains how we’re improving the accessibility of our trails so more people can enjoy and benefit from being outdoors.

Wales Coast Path improvements

To make the Wales Coast Path more accessible to people of all abilities, we are working with seven local authority partners across Wales to identify and improve sections of the Path.

Our first partnership, with Gwynedd Council, looked at accessible opportunities in northern Gwynedd. We selected five sections for improvement that represent a range of landscapes, from obviously accessible cycle paths to rocky coast.

Improvements have already been completed on the sections between Caernarfon and Treborth near Bangor, which are between 2km and 4km in length and offer a degree of challenge while being barrier-free.

We are currently working with the other six local authorities to identify the sections that can be improved.

Two people on an adaptive cycle enjoying the Caernarfon section of the Wales Coast Path (Antur Waenfawr)

Providing visual information

Widening access isn’t just about changing the trails. Providing detailed information on potential pinch points can improve a trail’s accessibility by allowing people to make informed decisions about whether the trail is suitable for them.

We are piloting Phototrails on the improved Wales Coast Path sections as a way of showing people what to expect on the Path. The Phototrails use maps, images and text to highlight parts of the Path users need to know about before setting out.

Video is another great way provide this visual information. Our website has a collection of videos that show a disabled person negotiating our trails, and we’ve recently added a video of Coed Nercwys Walk in north east Wales to that collection.

According to Natural England’s research, showing diversity in imagery is key to encouraging underrepresented groups to outdoor settings. To address this, we’re producing more diverse images for our image bank to help our communications be more inclusive.

Training and guidance on inclusive access

To help staff identify more opportunities to make our visitor places welcoming to a diverse range of people, we commissioned disability experts Sensory Trust and Experience Community to run inclusive access training.

Around 50 staff and colleagues from partner organisations attended these sessions. Attendees gained an insight into the variety of barriers many people face in visiting the outdoors, how we can make our sites more inclusive and what different communities need from a visit. They even had chance to try out adaptive equipment.

The training covered the principles of ‘least restrictive access’ that steer our work, as set out in By All Reasonable Means. This is a toolkit about equality of access to the countryside and open spaces that we produced with the Sensory Trust, which aligns with the UK wide Outdoor Accessibility Guidance | Paths for All

An inclusive access training session at Ynyslas Visitor Centre

Accessible places to visit

To find out more about the accessible trails and facilities we offer, go to:



1. Cors y Llyn National Nature Reserve

2. The Caernarfon section of the Wales Coast Path (Antur Waunfawr)

3. An inclusive access training session at Ynyslas Visitor Centre

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