A recent project by the National Trust to improve access across the Cornish headland is officially open and will continue to welcome visitors throughout the winter. The aim of the project was to open access to the iconic headland so more people could experience the dramatic headland views. Investment into facilities and the landscape will mean the area can welcome disabled visitors or people with limited mobility, who might have considered the area too challenging to visit.
Mike Simmonds, lead ranger says 'we're continually looking to create solutions for accessibility that are creative and sensitive to the surroundings. The National Trust is for everyone, and we want to make it easy for disabled visitors to enjoy the places we care for. The work we've achieved here is a great example of looking after a place like Pentire so that as many people as possible can enjoy it, whilst managing it for nature to thrive.Improving access for all was a priority throughout the planning of the project and the new visitor facilities include a Changing Places, with a changing table and hoist, and the option to hire an all-terrain mobility scooter - a Tramper - to explore the headland. The Tramper has been provided by the non-profit initiative Countryside Mobility who worked closely with the Trust as several accessible paths were created across the headland. Each route finishes at a coastal viewpoint where there is space for the Tramper user to stop and take in the spectacular scenery and get closer to nature.
The project at Pentire included managing the headland as a habitat for nature in addition to improving visitor access. Old farm outhouses at Pentireglaze have been restored and re-built and have re-opened to visitors as new toilets, a café and car park. The ranger and volunteer team have also worked hard to open the adjacent orchard and turn it into a beautiful sensory space which provides visitors with a place to picnic and play and is buggy and wheelchair accessible.
The reaction from visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. One recent visitor Anna Harris said 'These Trampers are, quite simply, life-changing. It got me to places around Pentire Point that I'd made my peace with never seeing ever again, owing to my MS.' The Tramper can be used by anyone who finds walking difficult. More information about Pentire and details on how to book the Tramper can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/pentire and the café will be open Thursday to Sunday, 10.30am-3pm over the winter.