A new £125,000 forest trail specially designed for disabled cyclists, walkers and wheel chair users, is to be opened by the Forestry Commission and the Cyclists’ Touring Club on Sunday in the heart of Dalby Moors on the southern slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors.
The Ellerburn Trail runs along Ellerburn Beck and aims to cater for seven per cent of Dalby Forest’s annual visitors who have mobility problems – some 31,500 of the 450,000 visitors, said David Brewster, chief officer of Ryedale Special Families. One new circular route has been built, which is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act, and the existing Ellerburn route has been enhanced to cater for more adventurous visitors with obility issues, he said.
Funding for the new trail has been funded with just under £75,000 from Natural England’s Paths for Communities Fund, and £25,000 each from Yorventure and the Forestry Commission.
Mr Brewster said: “The trail provides opportunities for organisations such as Ryedale Special families.”
Pupils of Thornton-le-Dale Community Primary School have created a forest garden in the courtyard at Dalby.
In the last 10 years, Dalby Forest has benefitted from £4.3 million investmenrt, resulting in its transformation to a regional centre of excellence for sustainable economic development, said Tanya Rex, the recreation and public affairs manager for the Forestry Commission.
Some of the funding has been used to build a visitor centre and courtyard. “In addition,” said Ms Rex, “the Commission has also secured funding for a new adventure playground which is to be opened this spring.”
The official opening of the trail will also coincide with the installation of the Gruffalo Activity Trail on the route.