This is currently a private project set up by myself Neil Pedley, after recognising a need and resolving to do something about it.
The primary aim is to produce a website resource that provides free information on places, walks and recreational opportunities with disabled access for each of the counties of England and Wales.
A Secondary aim for ACE is to promote 'disabled access' in the countryside and the wider publication of 'accessible' information in general relating to leisure and recreation. In many cases ACE will contact organisations directly to encourage them to put accessibility info on to their websites. ACE will do what it can to promote both the provision and the publication of accessible walks and countryside.
The first development phase was completed in 2011 with all of England and Wales being covered by the site.
The Second phase is ongoing - to identify and add additional information sections.
These have included Disability Sport and Recreation, Disabled and Carers support organisations, Family and Children’s support organisations, Tourist Information Centres, Accessible Taxis, Restaurants, Holidays and Accommodation.
Sponsored listings of suppliers and services for disabled people will hopefully generate some income to help cover the cost of running the site as my personal resources are very limited.
There is much more to do, full time support and development of the site would be ideal but I simply can not afford it.
There is also the ongoing work of searching out and adding new information which is complimented by the correspondence received by ACE from the growing number of users.
If anyone is interested in joining me and would like to contribute please use the contact form to get in touch.
ACE runs an electronic office, I try to avoid the use of paper and printing to cut cost and minimise the environmental impact, in line with this policy the website is hosted on servers powered by renewable energy and I communicate by email when ever possible, including invoicing.
This site and the information it contains are provided free of charge for personal use only, if any commercial entity (sole trader, business or other organisation) wish to acquire the information contained in this site please contact me and negotiate a fee and or permission.
Why did I set up ACE?
The project started after I did a day walk and was impressed by the disabled access on the trail and wondered why this had struck me as so unusual. Having been made redundant I had the time to do some research, trying to find information on accessible walks and countryside places and found that it was not simple.
There was no central information source, different organisations were using a variety of different terms and in many cases the accessibility information was located on site specific leaflets and PDF's and not easily found.
Finding that the quality and quantity of information available from many organisations ranged from excellent to non-existent I decided that if nobody else was doing anything about it I would. (I have since realised what a huge task I have taken on)
After making enquiries and some tentative funding applications I realised that to set up a charity and get funding would take time and effort and so made the decision to get on with it, stand the cost myself and hope I could find funding to keep it going at a later stage . . . as yet no fairy godmother has turned up.
Since developing the site I have become a full time unpaid carer for a family member, this has lead me to understand more deeply the need for carers and those they care for to have access to leisure, sport facilities, and support. Without these both carer and cared for can become isolated and house bound, illness and frailty should not condemn people to virtual house arrest, it should simply mean normal life proceeds but perhaps with a few adaptations. We all have a right to ‘a life’ not just to exist.
Help, Assistance and Consultation
I have on a number of occasions been approached for help and advice relating to projects, information, websites etc. I am willing to help where I can.
With the experience of researching disability issues, content for this site and having an IT background I feel I qualified to offer advice on what information should be included on websites regarding accessibility, the ways in which the information can be presented and where consultation with other organisations may be beneficial. Should you require assistance please get in touch via the contact page.
Webmasters, website owners please add a link to ACE on your website, this will help to make more people aware of the site and additional links also help in our web search rankings.
Our recommended link code is set out below
<p><strong><a href="http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/">Accessible Countryside for Everyone - ACE</a> </strong><br />
ACE is a website providing information on walks, countryside and green spaces which are accessible to those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies, as well as info on disabled and carer organisations, accessible camp sites, holiday accommodation, sports, taxis, pubs and restaurants. ACE promotes and encourages the publication of accessibility info for leisure and recreation. </p>
which looks like this
Accessible Countryside for Everyone - ACE
ACE is a website providing information on walks, countryside and green spaces which are accessible to those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies, as well as info on disabled and carer organisations, accessible camp sites, holiday accommodation, sports, taxis, pubs and restaurants. ACE promotes and encourages the publication of accessibility info for leisure and recreation.