By all reasonable means: least restrictive access guidance - new edition launched in Wales

A new best practice guide written by the Sensory Trust for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is helping countryside managers improve accessibility of countryside and public greenspace throughout Wales. The guide builds on the original version published in 2004, and moves the agenda on from the Disabiity Discrimination Act to the wider remit covered by the Equality Act 2010.

Lady in mobility scooter enjoying a day out in the Welsh countryside

The new guide talks about how to improve access in relation to all of the 9 protected characteristics. This reflects the progressive approach that the Welsh government, and NRW in particular, is taking to making their environment inclusive and ensuring that staff are up to date on the Equality Act 2010.

In line with the original version, the guide balances access with the conservation of natural heritage. It acknowledge the reality of limited resources, and provides a realistic, practical and effective approach to encourage more action by managers and owners. The aim is for more access in more places for more people.

It is based on Least Restrictive Access, an approach that aims for the highest standards possible for a particular piece of work. In the absence of statutory standards for outdoor access improvements, the guide shows how owners and managers can identify standards and techniques appropriate to their site.

It also incorporates the Access Chain, a tool developed by the Sensory Trust to outline the different parts of the visitor experience, from decision to visit to the experience on site and the journey home, and the connections between them.

You can download a copy of the By All Reasonable Means guide from the NRW website.

By All Reasonable Means - a guide to improving access to countryside and greenspace - original guide

By all reasonable means a guide to accessible outdoors by Sensory TrustThe original guide was written by the Sensory Trust in 2004 by the Countryside Agency (now Natural England) to help countryside and urban greenspace managers and owners improve accessibility of their sites, routes and facilities for visitors. Although the legislation has changed, the principles and recommendations are still just as valid and the guide continues to be widely used to spearhead good practice.

The guide looks at accessibility in its broadest sense, including people with physical, sensory or intellectual impairments. It includes how to make routes, sites and facilities more accessible and how to improve the quality of visitor experience. It advise on how to assess the accessibility of existing sites and how to plan access improvements.

The guide is underpinned by the principle of involving disabled people in all stages of the process, from planning access improvements to evaluating their effectiveness. It also advocates the bedding in of an inclusive approach so it becomes a natural part of way an organisation does things.

Download a copy of the By All Reasonable Means guide (pdf 835k)

Putting the Equality Act 2010 into practice in the countryside and public outdoor space.

Cover of By All Reasonable Means guide by Sensory Trust & NRW

Are you looking for more guidance?

The Equality Act 2010 - how it relates to access and inclusion

Access Chain - a tool we created for reviewing access from the user's perspective

Access statements - samples for you to use

Inclusive greenspace - addressing the barriers which prevent access to parks and greenspaces and what we can do to remove them

What is inclusive design? We show you what inclusive design looks like in practice

Accessible information design - making your communication available to everyone is a crucial part of inclusive design

Our publications - for more information and guidance

Family enjoying a day out in the Welsh countryside