42) Foxgloves Covert, Catterick Garrison, DL9 3PZ.
The accessible trail is approx 1 mile in length but packs in a lot of different topography, woodland, ponds , wooden boardwalk, wide bridges, forrest and moorland.
Road, woodland path, wide wooden boardwalk, wide wooden bridges all on accessible and wheelchair suitable paths.The dedicated accessible route is well marked out (red route and is easy to follow).
Facilities on site:
A visitor centre that does have a disabled toilet, access ramp, small shop, and tea / coffee making facilities. Take your own favourite beverage and use the kitchen.
Dedicated Blue Badge parking near the visitor centre. Most hides have wheelchair access and viewing points, ponds have pond dipping platforms that are accessible.
Dogs are permitted on leads.
There is no charge to visit the reserve but they kindly ask for a small donation for parking and visiting. Its only a few pounds.
About the reserve:
The nature reserve was built by members of the Royal Dragoon Guards on their return from the first Gulf War in 1992, they used their buildings skills and heavy equipment to turn what was a former tank testing / driving area into what is now an award winning and site of special scientific interest.
There are a number of different routes - but as I am a wheelchair user I chose the route marked with red markers on well located and easy to follow signposts. As it was built by the military expect it to be clean - well organised and very structured.
The nature reserve is accessed by driving into the military base at Catterick, You have to report to the guard Room House on the base. Follow the satnav using postcode DL9 3PZ. You will need some form of photo ID, Blue Badge or driving licence. If like myself you drive and use a wheelchair then note there is not any access for a wheelchair user to the Guard Room / House. Speak with the armed Guard's (sentries) on the gate who will send someone into the guard room / house for you. Here you will be issued with a day pass and told how to get to the nature reserve.
You can drive all the way to the Nature Reserve Visitor Centre and park there so again if on your own a soldier will help you access the gate to the actual nature reserve.
Go through the electric gate and head up the wide path - until you reach the wooden visitor centre on your left, Blue Badge users can park near this - and then pickup the red markers for the accessible nature trail.
If needed you can ring the guard room / house on the following number 01748873325 to check that the reserve is open before you travel - or to ask any questions.
What might you see:
The reserve has many different types of habitat, many different woodland birds, fowl on the lakes, Kingfisher, Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Owls, Deer and Badgers.
You also have a good chance of seeing different types of tanks, armoured vehicles and attack helicopters if there is an exercise happening during you visit. An amazing place