Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Saturday, 10 May 2008 17:21 UK

Wheelchair users' country scheme

Roger Sawersby and others on the walk at Coedydd Aber in Snowdonia
Roger Sawersby and others on the walk at Coedydd Aber in Snowdonia

People who use wheelchairs, their families and friends are being urged to visit the north Wales countryside with a series of special summer events.

Guides will be on hand during an expanded programme aimed at encouraging wheelchair users to explore places they might not normally be able to see.

The first event was a trip to Coedydd Aber in Snowdonia on Saturday.

The Countryside Council for Wales said it wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the nation's most picturesque spots.

The events have been staged for years, and have been increased to 12, with countryside wardens offering practical help and information about landscapes and habitats.

They will include one evening walk, at the Dingle Nature Reserve in Llangefni, which will examine bats.

Roger Sawersby and others on the walk at Coedydd Aber in Snowdonia
It's remarkably easy and it gives me confidence to go to more inaccessible places by myself
Roger Sawersby, wheelchair user

Gareth Evans, an Anglesey countryside warden who is co-ordinating the walks, said: "These events have been popular for many years.

"Now, the programme has been extended to offer more events than ever.

"Evidence shows that spending time in a natural environment helps relieve stress and boosts mental as well as physical health."

Graham Findlay of Disability Wales said: "It's good to see there is an opportunity for friends and family to take part.

"We hope other agencies that work and deal with the countryside throughout Wales will follow the example."

Roger Sawersby, of Llanfairfechan, Gwynedd, who went on the trip to Coedydd Aber, said: "I go on all the walks I can manage.

"It's remarkably easy and it gives me confidence to go to more inaccessible places by myself.

"It's a nice day, pleasant scenery and nice company.

"I think it helps me to live more of a natural life as my disability allows."




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