Improving Access to nature for all

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Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 9:11 am

Howdy
Can you Help make national parks more accessible to older people and people with a disability?

I (and other great organisations) are working with NSW NPWS to make national parks more accessible to older people and people with disabilities.
Maybe you know someone who once enjoyed walking in national parks, but doesn't anymore because they have got older, been injured or are sick?

Have you (or someone you know) had good or bad experiences in accessing a national park (anywhere in the world) that might help inform an accessibility policy?
Please help by filling out this survey?
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe4LZPgqCERvmjdD15oxrRIQYQD_oeWbv1ydDavQYLyYOYzJA/viewform

You are very welcome to have a conversation here on the topic -- just keen to do a survey so that people can feel more comfortable to mention specific issues anonymously.

Thanks heaps

Matt :)
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby Xplora » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 9:31 am

An off road, self powered wheelchair is available for free at Mt. Beauty information centre for use on some tracks on the Bogong High Plains. This may be suitable in some areas of NSW parks.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 9:59 am

Xplora wrote:An off road, self powered wheelchair is available for free at Mt. Beauty information centre for use on some tracks on the Bogong High Plains. This may be suitable in some areas of NSW parks.

Thanks -- this is helpful :)
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 10:49 am

I have had an ongoing rant about toilets in Victorian national parks being sited "out of sight" and being unsuited to persons with mobility issues and with most such toilets being totally unsuitable for wheelchair access
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 10:52 am

Moondog55 wrote:I have had an ongoing rant about toilets in Victorian national parks being sited "out of sight" and being unsuited to persons with mobility issues and with most such toilets being totally unsuitable for wheelchair access

Sounds worthy of a rant. My favourite rant on the topic is for toilets that are 'accessible' but have steps and no ramp ;)
The out of sight is a good point, not something on my radar- will think through this one. Thanks heaps
Matt :)
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby GregG » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 2:38 pm

Hello Matt
This is something of a vexed question isnt it? Balancing equitable access against maintaining the wilderness experience.

A few years back I encountered a fellow on an all-terrain Segway on a track near Newnes. He rather bashfully told me that he came to that area because he had been warned-off other National Parks, rangers being a bit more thin on the ground around Newnes at that time. He said that he used to be a keen bushwalker but ill health had forced him to look at other means of getting around and that the Segway was a good option apart from the limited range. The fat low-pressure tyres looked like they would have a low impact on the ground and I thought there were obvious benefits to him and not much of a problem for nature and other walkers. Other people I was with were not so convinced though.
Regards
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby crollsurf » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 3:31 pm

I always thought a wheelbarrow with a seat installed would a great idea, along with a few volunteers to push and help out. Unfortunately the Legal profession would see it as a litigation dream come true. Something like that may work in NZ but can't seeing it getting off the ground here.

I fully support the idea of bringing the bush to wheelchair bound people. Not suggesting a multi-day track into the wilderness, just a track that resembles a bushwalk rather than the current options of a carpark and tourist lookout.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 4:44 pm

It's not just wheelchair bound people tho, there are many others who simply can't move without some sort of artificial assistance, so in toilets something as cheap and simple as handholds are needed.
Signage could be modified to give time estimations for different mobility groups too, assuming graded paths
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 5:04 pm

Hi Greg
Yep agree -- this is part of the reason I am really keen for NPWS to develop a good accessibility policy so we can get this balance right. Access can be improved in many ways for different people - information is often key (where are toilets? how steep is the terrain etc) so people can find places they can access without guessing. This includes where are mobility devices going to be helpful and not cause user conflicts?
Your example is a really interesting one -- I will use that :)

thanks

GregG wrote:Hello Matt
This is something of a vexed question isnt it? Balancing equitable access against maintaining the wilderness experience.

A few years back I encountered a fellow on an all-terrain Segway on a track near Newnes. He rather bashfully told me that he came to that area because he had been warned-off other National Parks, rangers being a bit more thin on the ground around Newnes at that time. He said that he used to be a keen bushwalker but ill health had forced him to look at other means of getting around and that the Segway was a good option apart from the limited range. The fat low-pressure tyres looked like they would have a low impact on the ground and I thought there were obvious benefits to him and not much of a problem for nature and other walkers. Other people I was with were not so convinced though.
Regards
Greg
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 5:09 pm

crollsurf wrote:I always thought a wheelbarrow with a seat installed would a great idea, along with a few volunteers to push and help out. Unfortunately the Legal profession would see it as a litigation dream come true. Something like that may work in NZ but can't seeing it getting off the ground here.

I fully support the idea of bringing the bush to wheelchair bound people. Not suggesting a multi-day track into the wilderness, just a track that resembles a bushwalk rather than the current options of a carpark and tourist lookout.


Love your thinking -- They exist :)
-- there are a few versions of the idea -- https://mobilityplus.com.au/product/trailrider/
They are really good for some people. But for people who are used to pushing their own chair and having a lot of control they can be pretty restrictive. you also need to find a bunch of people to push -- it is hard work.
Here are other examples of 'adaptive equipment https://www.bushwalking101.org/wheelchairs/
Many of these give people access to lots of places whilst also giving them more freedom as well.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 5:16 pm

Moondog55 wrote:It's not just wheelchair bound people tho, there are many others who simply can't move without some sort of artificial assistance, so in toilets something as cheap and simple as handholds are needed.
Signage could be modified to give time estimations for different mobility groups too, assuming graded paths


Such an important point. The ISO 'disability symbol is a person in a wheelchair - and it impacts our thinking meaning many people assume that wheelchair users are a big user group.
Learning & reading disabilities are probably one of the biggest groups -- so we need to think about how bushwalking information is presented (eg that wildwalks guy, his tracknotes are way too complex for many people to read easily - nothing but trouble that guy).
AND yes continence issues are a big barrier for around 5 million Aussies. It will impact about 6 in 10 women and about 3 in every 10 men -- So toileting is very important.

Timing information -- that is a good point, will look into this.
Thanks :)
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby peregrinator » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 5:57 pm

Parks Victoria operates an All Abilities Access program, which has quite a few components:

https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-n ... ies-access

PV also has a link with Bush Connections:

https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/news/2019/ ... d-the-bush
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Fri 06 Aug, 2021 11:57 am

Thanks peregrinator
Yes -- Victoria seems to be 10-15 years ahead of NSW -- We have reviewed all their work and hoping to be able to stand if their shoulders.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 10:00 am

All good points above. I think exemptions for all terrain wheel chairs and other non electric wheel devices should be made for people with verified disabilities.

Electric I'm more wary of but with the right safeguards could be an option.

Using mobility devices (often with the assistance of others) opens up access to a greater variety of tracks and nature experiences for people with disabilities.

I think it would be great if a few select multi day tracks were designed to be accessible to mobility devices. Many tracks can be navigated by the mono wheel wheelchairs but the big hurdle is boulders and rock shelves, so there would need to be some track work to enable a bypass. Places where there is already existing boardwalks aka royal national park could work for something like this.

A thinking out of the box approach which Ive used while in lockdown is virtual environments. I play a computer game called 'the long dark' which is a survivalist style game through remote landscapes in Canada. With a big screen I've found virtual camping and bushwalking in this game to be enjoyable and relaxing. There are also a number of YouTube channels that offer virtual bushwalking, canoeing, camping trips. Highly enjoyable.

Obviously virtual environments don't substitute for the real thing but I think it's important to recognise that for some people due to their disability or location (or both) it can be very difficult to regularly visit national parks. Virtual environments can provide a enjoyable nature experience between trips to experience the real thing.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 1:04 pm

Hi Wildwanderer
Great stuff -- thanks.
Yes the use of non-powered assistive devices is currently allowed in national parks (including assistance animals).
Powered is debatable and needs to be clarified. Yes it is hard to work out that balance between accessibility and user conflicts (similar to use of MTB on walking tracks).

Multiday walks is a passion of mine. A few years ago I ran a series of trial overnight walks with wheelchair users. Using a mix of manual and power assist - as well as trialling human assistant techniuqes. Most of the options are based around management trails at this stage.

Virtual is a good point - it can help improve access and also help train/prepare people for a walk as well.

Thanks again -- getting lots of great ideas -- thanks
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 1:34 pm

Is there a need?
I understand what you're saying and can see the noble gesture it's intended as but I just feel this kind of thinking is alot of what's wrong in the world today. The need to conquer.

There are places on the earth I can't access and I don't want under water elevators or fire proof suits to enter volcanoes (stretching my point but you see my point) some places are special because they are human free and some are special because of the challenges involved in getting there. I can walk to some pretty remote places others can't but I can't climb Everest... where is the line drawn?

We have places like Mt field or dove lake where people in wheel chairs can appreciate nature. If they want more there's lots of lovely photo books out there. As long as the infrastructure that already exists is maintained that is enough.
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby EGM » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 3:04 pm

Yes there is a need.
I completely agree that a large amount of the enjoyment of wild places Is derived from the difficulty in getting there. There are changes that can be made such as what MoomDog said about toilets that can be modified and improved with no negative impact on able bodied and minded folk. There are lots of places I have been which could be considered wheel chair accessible already but the toilets are not appropriate either due to the doors or the cramped size which in many cases could be improved.

It is also inaccurate to think of disabled and wheelchair bound as one in the same.

Take note of the topic title. There is no mention of ability or disability and I think this is where alot of current development goes astray. How logical is it to spoil the atmosphere of a look out with a huge man made platform with tall railings when the track to get there is a rocky narrow path with precarious sections of its own. I argue that this time,money and effort could be better used for example included baby changing stations at some camp sites to improve access for young families.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Sun 08 Aug, 2021 10:16 am

Great and fair questions.
When I am thinking about access for all, my thinking is not just for people who use wheelchairs.
Disability is a broad beast and many disabilities are invisible.
eg
* 44% of Aussie adults lack the literacy skills required to ready complex stuff. How can we make information on bushwalking more accessible?
* More than 5 million Australians have some form of incontinence. How do we help them find bushwalks that improve access?

Then chuck in the mix people with arthritis, heart/lung conditions, people with intellectual disabilities, those with low vision etc.

We do have some places that are suitable for people in wheelchairs. But their general experience of nature is that it takes more time to get out of the car and into their chair than it takes to complete the walk. And the only walks that are promoted as wheelchair accessible are smooth & flat. In fact the new standard for grading walks limits the length of a grade 1 walk (wheelchair accessible) to being no longer than 5km -- WT *$&# -- (there was zero consultation or rationale for that limit). With railtrails etc we can easily have grade 1 tracks that are multiday 40km long if it was not for dumb decisions like this.

My personal view will differ from that of the policy I am helping develop - but generally speaking I think we can make great improvements by simply better documenting what walks exist - including all the facilities and barriers on the tracks.
So if I am in a wheelchair, what is the height of the gate? can I duck under it?
If I have arthritis, how many seats are there? do they have armrests? what is the biggest gap between the seats?
If I have incontinence - where are the toilets? What do the toilets look like? How busy is the track (can I easily duck behind a tree?).

I guess the point is that I want parks to stop saying people with disabilities are welcome on walks x, y and z. Rather they can say here are all the walks, here are the facilities/barriers, and lets give people the dignity to choose if it is safe/enjoyable for them to access. Much more dignified and far cheaper than even building one wheelchair accessible walk and improves access for many more people. Eg parents with prams also benefit, as will people who English is their second language etc.

Once we have got all the long hanging fruit in place (documented existing walks). Then we can do some good analysis on how small lower impact changes might improve access to even more people. EG add a toilet or seat, perhaps remove some steps. The goal is not to concrete everything, but rather find dignified ways to help more people love the places we do.

Now as I step down from my ranty soapbox (sorry) -- if you want to dive deeper into this here is a project I ran on the topic - http://www.naturallyaccessible.org/

Hope that helps and makes sense :)
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby davidmorr » Sun 08 Aug, 2021 12:10 pm

It is a challenging topic with lots of issues.

I agree with the comments about balancing access with the wilderness (or even just local bush) experience. Paved walkways always seem such an intrusion.

One thing is that different people have different requirements. The ex-bushwalker with dodgy knees may be happy with a bush track that is not too hard. The city tourist stopping off would probably find that beyond them.

Documenting the walks may help but...

1. As you say, people cannot or do not read information provided for them.

2. Even if they do, they are likely to over-estimate their ability. Note the number of "bushwalkers" that get lost or rescued each year from the Blue Mountains alone. People with little experience of the bush may interpret the walk description differently to an experienced walker.

3. Documenting the walks imposes a responsibility on the NPWS for it to be accurate, and there is no way this is not going to be a problem. This is the bush. Things change very day. A tree may fall or rain may dig a gully across the track. There could be a landslide, or a snake on the track. NPWS staff are flat out as it is. Expecting them to check every track every day is too much.

4. Another challenge with documenting walks is that it is a multi-dimensional issue. You not only have to consider the different types of limitation of potential visitors, but also the different characteristics of sites. You would need to construct a matrix with limitations on one side and site characteristics on the other - for every walk or site. This runs up against point 1 above.

To address these issues will be complex. It could perhaps be simplified, using a "lowest common denominator" approach that may not meet everyone's exact capabilities, but should address most.

Traffic light systems seem to be popular in recent years. Maybe tracks could be categorised as red, amber and green:

Red: No provision for people with limitations.

Amber: Provision for people with some limitations, together with a short list of which limitations would or would not be able to cope with that particular walk.

Green: Anyone at all with any limitation should be able to do it.

TBH, I think just making up a list of the limitations you want to consider will be challenge enough. It will be worse allowing for combinations of them.

Perfection is a common and laudable goal, to meet everyone's needs. To make progress, however, requires a lesser goal, something that is achievable even if it still limits some people's experience of the bush.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Mon 09 Aug, 2021 11:17 am

Hi David
Thanks for that - your are right, this is complex and difficult :)

When undertaking research in developing the naturally accessible framework it became very clear the matrix idea is not workable. Even if you could list every type of disability/impairment and its severity - that is not the actual experience of people. People may well experience multiple disabilities and that experience will vary from hour to hour and depends on the context. EG someone might be happy to bum up steps to get to a lookout, but not to catch a train.

There are issues with any matrix and traffic light/grading system - it assumes people fall into categories and requires those documenting the walk to make a decision for someone else.
And as you pointed out people ignore such stuff for lots of reasons, mostly because their decision making tends to be hidden -- or the information is not easily available.

The needs vary so much. EG someone with low vision may well bounce over a fallen tree no worries, but someone with arthritis may well struggle. So the traffic system sadly ends up being meaningless. NPWS currently use this idea (easy/medium & hard accessibility) and it just does not work.

By listing barriers and facilities the person documenting are noting down simple facts (height of gates, steepness of terrain etc). Then the end-user gets to make a decision based on their own ability. And yes they may stuff up and need a rescue like anyone else. The nature of changing landscapes (falling trees) is an issue. So the parks need to be mindful that the walks they document are ones they can maintain the information on. Visitors also need to be aware that new barriers (fallen trees) can appear anytime and be prepared to backtrack or self-rescue.

This is about dignity as much as it is about access and as you said - it ain't easy and will never be perfect.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby rcaffin » Mon 09 Aug, 2021 8:01 pm

I think it would be great if a few select multi day tracks were designed to be accessible to mobility devices. Many tracks can be navigated by the mono wheel wheelchairs but the big hurdle is boulders and rock shelves, so there would need to be some track work to enable a bypass.
Ah, I see.
Run a bulldozer through anything that gets in the way.
Yeah, right, just what we need for conservation and preservation.

As soon as you start to permit this sort of thing, it will go both feral and commercial. Electric quad bikes will be next. Not on my watch thank you.

Cheers
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby tastrax » Mon 09 Aug, 2021 10:19 pm

Personally I think you will get the best response by taking people with issues to existing tracks and seeing what issues are presented and what solutions they would be looking for to enhance their experiences. I suspect there will be a very wide range of issues from surface treatments, grades, widths, cross-fall, vegetation issues, handrail or other aid requirements etc. Also remember that the vast majority of tracks, in my experience, were never designed, they are often just legacies of early walkers and where they wanted to go. Most will never have been designed with these visitors in mind, and even when they are, the limits of grades and rest areas are often pushed to the extreme even in urban environments, let alone facilities (as mentioned by others).

I think any multi day track would need to be designed with specific cases in mind. The daily distances travelled by someone with a mobility issue or a double amputee might be very different to someone in a self powered wheelchair versus an assisted wheelchair (if allowed). All should have the opportunity but a well designed experience will be a lot better than something cobbled together out of an existing legacy track (in my view). It doesn't have to be bland, it can still push the boundaries in an acceptable way, just the same as any track network catering to mixed needs.

Others will chose to have a crack at existing tracks or experiences and push themselves to the limit, albeit with a well organised team behind them!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl1NNodBa7U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53tG2uSSl84
Cheers - Phil

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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby tastrax » Mon 09 Aug, 2021 10:23 pm

Cheers - Phil

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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 9:44 am

rcaffin wrote:Ah, I see.
Run a bulldozer through anything that gets in the way.
Yeah, right, just what we need for conservation and preservation.

As soon as you start to permit this sort of thing, it will go both feral and commercial. Electric quad bikes will be next. Not on my watch thank you.

Cheers
Roger

Yeah okay, let's be clear no one I have heard on this topic is walking about pulling out the bulldozer. Well, not more than parks already do, these fire trails don't build themselves after all.
I am not a fan of the thin edge of the wedge argument when we are talking about policy development -- part of the point of developing policies to manage such risks.

I have identified about a number of potential multiday walks for wheelchair users in NSW. There will be more, but that is after a quick bit of looking. EG out to Shelley Beach at Myall Lakes.
This is why the research was titled 'Naturally Accessible' -- improving access through information rather than infrastructure.
The suggested changes are minimal (eg add a ramp to existing toilets, improve access at gates (yes whilst still blocking dirt bikes and electric quad bikes etc).
None need to be done, but they would just help open the track up to more people.
A bushwalker in a wheelchair can still tackle some rough terrain etc.

Think of the 14-year-old kid at school (in a wheelchair or walker frame) doing his Duke of Edembourah award. Currently, he can't do the walk with his mates because no park agency in Australia, or really anywhere, promotes an overnight wheelchair accessible walk. But they exist, he could head out to Shelley beach with his friends. He might even help his friends by carrying their packs when they get tired. No bulldozer, no quadbikes.
Seems fair and low risk (to parks) to me.
But yes, risks need to be considered. My view is to manage the risks during policy development rather than block all new activity/people.

thanks
Matt :)
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 9:56 am

tastrax wrote:Personally I think you will get the best response by taking people with issues to existing tracks and seeing what issues are presented and what solutions they would be looking for to enhance their experiences. I suspect there will be a very wide range of issues from surface treatments, grades, widths, cross-fall, vegetation issues, handrail or other aid requirements etc. Also remember that the vast majority of tracks, in my experience, were never designed, they are often just legacies of early walkers and where they wanted to go. Most will never have been designed with these visitors in mind, and even when they are, the limits of grades and rest areas are often pushed to the extreme even in urban environments, let alone facilities (as mentioned by others).

I think any multi day track would need to be designed with specific cases in mind. The daily distances travelled by someone with a mobility issue or a double amputee might be very different to someone in a self powered wheelchair versus an assisted wheelchair (if allowed). All should have the opportunity but a well designed experience will be a lot better than something cobbled together out of an existing legacy track (in my view). It doesn't have to be bland, it can still push the boundaries in an acceptable way, just the same as any track network catering to mixed needs.

Others will chose to have a crack at existing tracks or experiences and push themselves to the limit, albeit with a well organised team behind them!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl1NNodBa7U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53tG2uSSl84

Yep -- I agree -- a lot of this is just about been mindful during planning.
EG NSW NPWS was about to replace the steel walkway from Thredbo to Mt Kosc. A few of us met with them and we did some work on accessibility generally and a few fairly small tweaks in all the walkway being replaced with have no steps. This is better for everyone, easier for most walkers, and parents with prams etc, better for rescues -- ohh and great for parks staff getting their equipment into place. The goal is not trying to make every bit of the parks universally accessible -- but let's at least at the planning phase question any barrier (steps, steep sections, steep cross slopes, etc) that is constructed.
We do have and should always have some universally accessible walks too :)
Great work and videos :)
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby davidmorr » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 1:18 pm

wildwalks wrote:Yeah okay, let's be clear no one I have heard on this topic is walking about pulling out the bulldozer. Well, not more than parks already do, these fire trails don't build themselves after all.
I am not a fan of the thin edge of the wedge argument when we are talking about policy development -- part of the point of developing policies to manage such risks.

It is all very well saying that no-one is going to get out the bulldozer. That might be the case now, or with the people you are talking to. But can it be assumed that state will last forever?

Some bureaucrat who can see his/her way to promotion might take a different view. Or a politician who thinks he/she can get some publicity.

I think about things like a stainless steel and polished timber serpentine bridge at Polblue to replace an existing bridge. Tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct something totally out of place in a bush setting. Kudos for someone there. And while the bridge is wheelchair friendly, no wheelchair could ever get there. Meanwhile the scotch broom runs rampant.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby north-north-west » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 2:00 pm

davidmorr wrote:I think about things like a stainless steel and polished timber serpentine bridge at Polblue to replace an existing bridge. Tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct something totally out of place in a bush setting. Kudos for someone there. And while the bridge is wheelchair friendly, no wheelchair could ever get there. Meanwhile the scotch broom runs rampant.
The metal bridges over Spring River (PDT) and Milford Creek (SCT) and the new stretches of raised walkway in places like Buoy Creek flats - not wheelchair friendly but massively overenginered for where they are and dealing with relatively minor issues for walkers (especially Milford Creek). They do it because it's easy and makes it looks like they're dong something, while the really big issues (such as erosion on the eastern side of the Ironbounds or, as you pointed out, weed and feral control) go untouched.
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby GregG » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 2:08 pm

wildwalks wrote:Howdy

I (and other great organisations) are working with NSW NPWS ...... etc

I am just wondering, for the sake of clarity, who you are representing and who the other great organisations are, and on what forum, committee or body?
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 5:41 pm

GregG wrote: I am just wondering, for the sake of clarity, who you are representing and who the other great organisations are, and on what forum, committee or body?

At the forum meetings, I represent Wildwalks and the NPA NSW
(although my comments here are my own)

The forum is organised by the NSW NPWS to gather information to develop their own accessibility policy.
The other organisations (I am not sure if I can mention them by name??) But they are generally speaking peak bodies representing different groups of people with disabilities.
It is still early days - but so far I must say it is the best forum of its type I have been, run well and with a truly open mind so far. (often these things have a clear predetermined agenda)
Thanks :)
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Re: Improving Access to nature for all

Postby wildwalks » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 5:55 pm

davidmorr wrote:It is all very well saying that no-one is going to get out the bulldozer. That might be the case now, or with the people you are talking to. But can it be assumed that state will last forever?

Not sure I said no one is going to get out a bulldozer ever, I did point out they are already common in parks on fire trails. I don't see a need for bulldozing to achieve the goals.
Yes I agree there are some overblown projects done in parks.

Part of any policy is about setting limits. So I would expect that this policy would aim to help preserve the natural experience - hence not be compatible with the all-out bulldozing approach. It may actually lead to infrastructure being designed more in keeping with the natural environment.

Just to be clear the title "Improving Access to nature for all" is not suggesting that I want to make every square inch of national parks accessible to all people - that is clearly not compatible with the idea of national parks. The term nature was used as not all nature experainces need to happen in national parks, there are many other good natural places to enjoy. My hope is that we can give everyone the opportunity to have meaningful nature-based experiences. These experiences may well look very different from the bushwalking done by many people on this forum. A good policy around this idea will help ensure that when infrastructure is added to natural areas that accessibility and the overall nature-based experience will be considered in a new and more helpful light.
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