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New trail for wheelchair users on Lynchmere Common

Michael Bolger , Kate Russell and George Crofton at the official opening of the extension of the path for the disabled on Lynchmere Commons CONTRIBUTED PICTURE

Michael Bolger , Kate Russell and George Crofton at the official opening of the extension of the path for the disabled on Lynchmere Commons CONTRIBUTED PICTURE

Lynchmere Common is now more accessible to wheelchair and pushchair users thanks to an extended circular trail made possible by the Lynchmere Society and the South Downs National Park Authority.

The original path which enabled those in wheelchairs or unsure of foot to reach the viewpoint by Professor Radford’s seat has been extended from its original 480 metres to offer more views stretching from north west Lynchmere to Selborne Hanger and to give greater enjoyment over a circular route.

George Crofton grew up near Lynchmere and now lives in Lindford. He has been a wheelchair user since an accident in 2001 and was the first person to test the new route.

“Growing up in the countryside I have always loved being outdoors and I miss going out for country walks as it’s difficult to find safe, smooth routes where I can take my wheelchair. The new accessible path in Lynchmere Common gives me a peaceful place to escape to. The viewpoint was spectacular and I can’t wait to share it with my friends when they come to visit.

Bruce Middleton, Wealden Heath area manager for the national park said: “Thanks to the hard work of the society and the South Downs volunteer rangers much of the site has been cleared to allow the return of lowland heath. This new trail will allow people with wheelchairs and pushchairs to visit this beautiful and endangered habitat, which is home to rare species like the nightjar and silver-studded blue butterfly.”

Judy Rous, chairman of the Lynchmere Society said: “We are really delighted to have been able to complete this project. It has been part of our plan for several years, and now made possible by a grant of £8,000 from the park with the society contributing the balance of £2,000.”

 

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