Dartmoor National Park’s Miles Without Stiles project has been recognized. The park received the prestigious Gordon Miller Award, given by the Countryside Management Association (CMA).
The annual distinction is awarded to the most deserving project, initiative or practice that makes an outstanding contribution to the management of rural/urban green spaces. It is named after the Honorary President of the CMA, himself a former Ranger of the Peak District National Park, who established the International Federation of Rangers.
Dartmoor National Park’s stunning scenery, rare wildlife and rich heritage make it a popular destination for many people. But things like doors, stiles, and steep inclines make it difficult for some people to explore, even if they want to.
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The National Park’s Miles Without Stiles routes were created to solve this problem. The routes are mainly designed for people with reduced mobility, including those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, families with strollers and they have no obstacles to overcome. They also have facilities such as parking, restrooms and cafes nearby.
This means anyone of all abilities can explore Dartmoor’s varied landscape, from wooded river valleys to vast moorland; Monuments from the Bronze Age to the remains of extraction. The Authority has been assisted by the Dartmoor Wheelchair Access Group and regular volunteers have provided hands-on assistance to make improvements on the ground. There is now a growing selection of routes ranging from 1km to 8km and with varying degrees of difficulty.
Linda Nunn, President of the Countryside Management Association, said, “The CMA is delighted to award the ‘Miles Without Stiles’ project the prestigious Gordon Miller Award. As the leading body representing countryside and green space professionals across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we receive nominations every year with the hope of winning the coveted Owl Trophy scares. It’s always hard to decide between them, but the remarkable effort of volunteers across Dartmoor NP to provide lasting benefits to so many, was a clear favorite for the awards judging panel. Congratulation to all participants !”
Tim Russell, Recreation and Access Projects Manager at Dartmoor National Park, said: “We are delighted to win the Gordon Miller Award. It recognizes the good work done in collaboration with user groups and the hard work done by our volunteers to improve access for all, which is so important for everyone’s health and well-being.
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