After research and consultation, we have identified a selection of parks which we think may be most appropriate for use by disability groups. Criteria we have used are:

  • Easily accessible by public transport
  • Good car park
  • Cafe open regularly – somewhere warm for shelter and social interaction
  • Disabled toilets
  • Access for emergency vehicles
  • At least 10 controls which can be reached and read from tarmac paths suitable for standard wheelchairs

We appreciate that different groups have a wide range of different needs, with a variety of physical and cognitive challenges.

We suggest the best experience comes when the participants control their own orienteering, and can feel the same sense of adventure as other orienteers. ie. they have the map and decide for themselves which way they want to go.

The best format for this empowerment is a flexible “score” format which involves finding as many controls as you can in a set amount of time. They choose for themselves which controls to go to and in which order. They may look for natural loops to follow; if time presses they may change their minds.  If appropriate, they can send their carer to control points they aren’t physically able to reach themselves, having got as close as they can and prepared the necessary instructions.

Three parks that meet all the criteria are:  Alexandra ParkHeaton Park, Queens Park Bolton.

Other parks which have the appropriate facilities but don’t have quite so many posts visible from tarmac paths are:  Chadderton Hall Park, Longford Park, Moss Bank Park, Queens Park Heywood, Wythenshawe Park.