Next Webinar: Why and How to Make Nature More Accessible?

Photo by Alise Lūse

Published on:

Join EUROPARC’s next webinar on accessibility in Protected Areas!

National Parks, nature heritage sites and symbolic landscapes are our national values and contribute to the quality of life. They are also an important source for environmental education, recreation, and tourism. But are they accessible for all?

Getting to nature can sometimes be challenging, due to a rocky path surface, a boardwalk being too narrow, too steep, too slippery or due to there being no nature trail at all. This affects not just those with a disability, but also people with temporary injuries, parents with small children, seniors, in fact, the largest part of the population. Adapting the environment and services to all is part of a sustainable development concept and is important, both from the social, as well as the economic perspective.

The aim of this webinar is to highlight why the access to nature becomes more and more present nowadays and what access options should and can be sought. Presenters from Finland, Spain and Latvia will show how being outdoors is linked to the national identity and the pressures the Covid-19 pandemic is putting on nature trails. Additionally, they will present the nature accessibility issue from the user’s point of view and share good practice examples on inclusive nature education and accessibility solutions for nature trails.

Sign up here!

Webinar Programme

Welcome and Introduction to the webinar
By Andris Klepers – Associate Professor and Researcher at the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Latvia.
The meaning of accessible nature – being outdoors as part of the national identity.
By Sanna Kalmari – Accessible Travel Specialist & Travel Blogger, Finland.

Finland and other northern countries are the world’s leading destinations for nature lovers and being outdoors is inseparably connected with the national identity. That is why it’s important to make nature accessible for all, as a basic human right. Many National Parks and nature areas have accessible hiking services that meet the needs of all kinds of hikers and nature enthusiasts, including families and small children, the elderly and the physically challenged. In this presentation we hear how nature can offer meaningful experiences for a wheelchair user, what kind of information a local or a tourist with a disability needs about accessible nature trails and how to promote them.

Don’t stay at home! Accessibility in the Natural Parks Network of the Barcelona Provincial Council.
By Dafne Farré Lladó – Public Use and Environmental Education Technician, Natural Parks Network of Barcelona Provincial Council, Spain.

The Barcelona Provincial Council’s Natural Park Network consists of 12 nature areas of significant landscape, environmental and cultural value. Since 2005–2006, all its programmes, services and infrastructures are being evaluated to guarantee usability for functionally diverse people. Currently, all its school education programmes are inclusive, with adapted teaching materials and resources. At the same time, the network of accessible and practicable itineraries is constantly expanding, and natural parks offer a wide range of rental equipment (handbikes, Joëlettes, directional bars) to guarantee autonomous, safe, and comfortable access to nature for everyone.

Nature accessibility solutions and the promotion of understanding in the Central Baltic Region.
By Alise Lūse – Accessible Nature Tourism & Trails Practitioner, Latvia.

Central Baltic countries are among the top 15 countries with the largest percentage of seniors (65+ of total population of the country) in the world. Latvia, Estonia, and Finland are among the top 5 countries in Europe with the largest disability prevalence. The numbers are constantly expanding through the population growth, medical advances and the ageing process. Nowadays accessibility becomes more and more important and is the key focus of the Central Baltic Programme Project “Nature access to all”. In this presentation the project’s ambitions, main achievements and accessibility solutions will be revealed to share the best practice and encourage nature parks, municipalities and other trail administrators to make step by step improvements in their infrastructure, products and services to facilitate nature access to all.

Let’s talk about it…
All participants will have the opportunity to exchange on the topics discussed and/or ask questions.

The webinar will last approx. 1h 30min and it will be hosted in English. We welcome participants from all across the network and beyond.
Powered by: