This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Wheelchair
Being a long-time bird watcher, totally wheelchair-bound, I have visited many bird-watching sites both in the UK and abroad. Of all the venues I have visited I consider Sculthorpe Hawk & Owl Trust Nature Reserve the best of the best for access because practically everywhere is boardwalk traversing woodland and marshland. Furthermore slopes into the hides are never more than a one in 20 climb and at this time a tower hide is under construction which is four metres above ground that the author his climbed via three slopes up to the hide which gives a wonderful view over marshland where marsh harriers breed. The staff at the reserve have taken into account my suggested improvements via the charity - see www.birdingforall.com - And continue to take into account my suggestions as explained in the link below. For more detail see: http://www.birdingforall.com/index.php?page=sculthorpe-moor-hawk-owl-trust. Also checkout the Sculthorpe website for more info. http://hawkandowl.org
Transport & Parking
Birding for all website gives full details of parking. Disabled parking - three spaces - is close by the entrance to the reserve's main building. the parking is on a concrete base. See Sculthorpe website for transport info: http://hawkandowl.org/sculthorpe/about-sculthorpe/
There are no steps into the main building and there are two disabled toilets - one inside - and one outside. Part of the picnic area is not accessible at the moment but work is in progress right now (10th August 2015) which will redress this problem soon. (Author's recommendation). There is a stretch of gravel pathway before meeting the boardwalk which can be bypassed by allowing disabled drivers to drive close to the boardwalk by speaking to someone in the information centre or by mobile telephone from the car. The boardwalk from then on circles all permitted areas of the reserve.
The two disabled loos are completely accessible for wheelchairs and have suitable grab rails etc. and are clean. One toilet is inside the building and the other outside in the rear of the building.
The staff and volunteers are brilliant. What is remarkable in the context of staff attitudes at many other nature sites is their very obvious willingness to take on board suggested access improvement where it is possible to enhance conditions within budget constraints and construction abilities.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
I am working with staff and volunteers at Sculthorpe on current projects and will continue to liaise with them on future enhancements. My personal brief is not only to seek better access for wheelchair users but to assess conditions for disabled visitors walking needs.