Thanks to volunteers of the Chiltern Society (CS) and Henley Town Council a new accessible gate has been installed at the lay-by entrance to Gillotts Field.
In the pouring rain yesterday (Wednesday) the old wooden gate was removed and a new large metal kissing gate which is big enough for mobility scooters and wheelchairs to get through was installed. The gate can be opened for larger access using a radar key. These keys are the same that open disabled toilets. The gate was purchased by Henley Town Council and they approached the Chiltern Society to help with the installation.
Richard Miller, one of the Chiltern Society volunteers said, “This is the ninth accessible date we have installed in the Chilterns. Our aim is to have gates on all the footpaths rather than stiles. You can now walk from Henley (not by the river) to Caversham without going over any stiles.”
Mike Boas, Volunteer CS Leader said, “It’s extremely important to give everyone access to footpaths. There’s more and more people using these motorised scooters so if the footpath is flat enough like it is here they can come and enjoy the plants and the wildlife in the field. The Council have been tremendous – they’ve really helped us. We don’t often work with councils but they’ve been very helpful by donating the gate.”
The Town Council are planning to install a suitable surface following the installation of the gate and a new vehicle gate. The gate has been fitted low to the ground too so that small dogs can’t get under it.
Henley Town Council’s Conservation Warden, Ilona Livarski who was helping with two other Park Services team members said, “Thanks to the Chiltern Society for putting in so much hard work especially in the horrible rain. It’s been non-stop and they’ve been champions. It’s really exciting that we have disabled access now on to the field. It’s a really nice area and whole field is accessible for them – we just needed the gate to let people in.”