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£5k boost for Miles Without Stiles in the UK’s first National Park

Yorkshire Water are donating £5,000 to the Peak District National Park to produce a guide to countryside routes suitable for people with mobility issues.

Known as Miles Without Stiles, the routes are well surfaced and free from stiles, steps and narrow gates which are barriers for people with mobility issues. Yorkshire Water’s sponsorship will pay for a new informative guide promoting these routes to people with limited mobility, wheelchair users, families with children in pushchairs, visually impaired people and disabled rambler groups.

Karen Darke, Paralympic gold medal cyclist in Rio, said: “I’m all for making your own adventures so it’s great to hear that thanks to Yorkshire Water’s donation people will be able to find out about and be inspired by the amazing countryside in the Peak District National Park.

“I think it’s fantastic that whatever their ability more people will be able to enjoy the exercise and health benefits of Miles Without Stiles routes.”

Geoff Lomas at Yorkshire Water, said: “All people benefit from being in the countryside and find that being near water is relaxing and inspiring. We have being developing routes on our land that are accessible to a wide a range of people and aim to continue to give as many people as possible access to our recreation sites. We are very pleased to provide a boost to Miles Without Stiles, let people know where they can visit with least restriction ”

Peak District National Park staff are working together with Accessible Derbyshire, the Local Access Forum and disabled groups to explore ways to improve access for disabled people and develop Miles Without Stiles routes.

Sue Smith, Peak District National Park access officer, said: “We’re delighted to have Yorkshire Water’s support for Miles Without Stiles – we plan to start work on identifying and improving the routes on the ground in the New Year and will launch the new guidebook in 2017.

“Miles Without Stiles routes will be freely accessible for people to use and the new guidebook sponsored by Yorkshire Water will also be available for free with any donations going towards developing more Miles without Stiles.”

Individuals, groups or businesses interested in sponsoring projects like this in the Peak District, the UK’s first National Park can find more information here. National level partnership opportunities are also available, with more information on the National Park website

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