New Orchard Trust Accessible Wildlife Pond and Changing Place Toilet

A photograph of an accessible wildlife pond.

Our friends at Orchard Trust have written a guest blog for us about their new accessible wildlife pond and public Changing Places Toilet.

Here at Orchard Trust in the beautiful Forest of Dean we are excited about opening our new Wildlife Pond. The pond is the latest new facility on our Stowfield Day service site at Lower Lydbrook in the Wye Valley.

Our Stowfield site is wheelchair accessible and offers a range of footpaths around the site through our animal paddocks and a woodland area. There are lots of benches along the footpaths and picnic benches by our main barn and in a wooden gazebo at the other end of the site. The site offers a day service for learning disabled adults and has a therapy centre with a hydro pool and a rebound trampoline both of which are available to hire. Alongside the day service the site is open to all visitors, we just ask that visitors ring ahead so that we can be there to welcome them and show them what we have to offer.

Funded by a Big Give Christmas campaign and a local Rotary Group, the Pond, like the rest of our Stowfield site, is wheelchair accessible and open to all. We raised the money to build this pond in 2022 and through the first half of 2023 we have been working on planning and building the pond and its surrounding areas. Wheelchairs have full access to the pond with the main access area being alongside a low wall so that people can reach the water more easily. This is a fabulous addition to the range of facilities and activities we have on the Stowfield site, and once the planting around the pond has established and the wildlife have moved in it will look amazing.

The Wildlife Pond follows on from the public Changing Place Toilet we opened in May. This is a modular unit funded by a Gloucestershire charity the Barnwood Trust and Levelling Up funding from our local District Council. The unit was built in Northern Ireland by Accessoloo, a great company who employ largely disabled people to design, build and install CPTs as well as run a fleet of mobile CPTs that they hire out across Ireland and England.

A photograph of the inside of a Changing Places Toilet with screen, changing bed, toilet, hoist, sink, yellow bin, grab rails and red emergency cord.

Our Changing Place Toilet is one of only three locally and is open 9am-3pm on weekdays for people who have a Radar key. It has a dedicated parking space in our main site car park and users are welcome to extend their visit with a walk around our site to see the new Pond as well as our friendly animals, accessible activity park and sensory garden.

We hope to see our local friends soon and for those further afield, please do plan a visit if you can.

Discover the Euan’s Guide disabled access reviews in the Lydbrooke area, including the Ochard Trust Day Service.

Tags: disabled access, disabled access information, Changing Places, changing places toilets, Wildlife, outdoor, orchard trust, blog, blog post, guest blog


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