Open Country

Prosper always enjoy a trip out to see Ella at Open Country in Thornes Park. We always learn something and this time it was about yellow rattle which is good for eating grass!

Open Country was established over 30 years ago and exists to help people with disabilities to access and enjoy the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. They do this by providing several activity groups in various locations, open to anyone with a physical or learning disability or mental ill-health. Countryside activities for disabled people include walking groups, conservation projects, tandem cycling clubs and adventure activities. They provide information, training, and advice to anyone needing to know more about making the countryside accessible for disabled people. They also do a ‘break Free’ pack with shows accessible routes with distances, inclines etc.

For the past few years, Open Country have been working across Wakefield, from a base in Thornes Park running an outreach programme – Wild about Wakefield. which has so far helped over 100 vulnerable adults to regularly enjoy activities such as wheelchair outings, adapted cycling, adventure sports, weekday walking and conservation projects. They also do residential weekend events. They have also launched a mobility scooter group who meet on the 1st Saturday of the month.

Prosper had awarded a grant towards their Wakey-Walky group. One of the easiest, yet most beneficial group activities that they offer is a walking group, to help disabled people get much-needed physical exercise and which has clear knock-on benefits to mental wellbeing as well. Open Country consider the “Wakey-Walky” group to be much more than just a group for disabled people to take exercise in the countryside, the camaraderie and peer support if the group is also vital as well. To this end the group have also participated in their Annual Sunflower competition, where members with a range of disabilities compete to grow the largest/best sunflower in Wakefield District.

Ella explained that they were getting ready to propagate 6000 wildflowers that would be distributed throughout the district and developing 2 further groups, the wild things group and Trailblazers.

To find out more about Open Country, please click here to visit their website

Or call: 01423 507227

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