Burnham Beeches becomes first nature reserve to win carpark disability award

A carpark at Burnham Beeches, Bucks, has been awarded the Disabled Parking Award (DPA) for excellent disabled parking facilities following a recent assessment by the charity Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) - the first time a nature reserve has been awarded the DPA for its parking facilities.

DMUK introduced the DPA accreditation scheme to improve parking for disabled people, as poorly marked out bays, difficulties in using payment machines and bad lighting can make parking a very challenging experience.

The assessors declared that the car park had all the correct measures in place to enable disabled people to use the facilities at Burnham Beeches. The assessors check that the car park has the correct number of accessible bays, alternative methods of payment for disabled people who can’t use standard car park machinery and good signage to the disabled bays. In addition, in order to qualify for the award the accessible bays must be monitored and Penalty Charge Notices given to those found parking without a Blue Badge.

Helen Dolphin Director of Policy and Campaigns for the charity Disabled Motoring UK said:

“It gives me great pleasure to commend Burnham Beeches car park on this achievement and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all personnel involved. When you have a disability it can be a struggle finding a car park that meets your needs and so it is fantastic to know that users of these facilities can be confident that they will be able to park. DMUK has a lot of complaints about the abuse of the Blue Badge scheme and we hope the DPA will ensure that car park operators are recognised for their efforts in tackling the issue.”

Andy Barnard, the City of London Corporation’s Superintendent at Burnham Beeches, said:

“We are delighted to have achieved this award. We want Burnham Beeches to be enjoyed by everyone and we working hard to make our site fully accessible for disabled people - with easy access paths, all-terrain electric buggies and our Burnham Beeches Sensory Trail. I hope this award will help to raise awareness that people with additional mobility needs can come and enjoy this ancient woodland.”

Burnham Beech Car Park will proudly display the ‘DPA’ sign of quality for the next 12 months.