Guest Blog Post: Ranger Guided Mobility Walk on Loch Lomond
James Elliott is the Countryside Ranger for Cameron House on Loch Lomond and The Carrick.
In this guest blog post, James tells us about leading a guided walk on Loch Lomond with a difference.
There’s nothing like getting outdoors at this time of year. Around the loch is awash with golds, reds and yellows as the trees put on a glorious show before settling into their winter dormancy. But for some people, disability or age has placed a barrier that restricts them from experiencing these simple pleasures.
It’s for this reason that Clyde Shopmobility together with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and West Dunbartonshire Ranger Service have organised the Mobility Walks.
Tuesday saw the second of these walks (or 'scoots', as they have become known) take place from Balloch to the Carrick golf course.
I met Countryside Ranger Gillian Neil along with Mark Ferguson from Shopmobility by the Tourist Information office; the mobility scooters lined up like race cars on the starting grid. I chose a red one (everyone knows red is the fastest colour!) and waited for our guests to arrive.
Scooting up the banks of Loch Lomond two thoughts struck me. Firstly, that it gets pretty damn cold sitting on a mobility scooter. Second was how the simplest of obstacles, be it a kerb, a pothole or a narrow gate, can throw up a major hurdle. It really made me consider how accessible our pathways are to people with mobility restrictions.
Despite a few showers and concerns for the battery life of the scooters, the day was a great success. I have been showing people the landscape and wildlife of Loch Lomond for years now, but this is the first time I’ve led a group on wheels.
What a great project this is that allows everyone the chance to enjoy the autumn colours.
For more information about Clyde Shop Mobility visit www.clydeshopmobility.co.uk
Many thanks to James Elliott for providing this guest blog.