Deborah North

The Outdoor Guide

Making the Inaccessible Accessible

About Deborah North

Deborah has a passion for the great outdoors. When illness meant that she had to use a wheelchair to get around she began to explore the possible ways that she could access the countryside and continue to pursue her interest as a hill walker. In 2015 she and her husband Andy completed Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, with Debs using an all- terrain wheelchair called a TerrainHopper. In 2016 Debs and Andy developed another 75 mile long distance wheel friendly route which took them from Semerwater in North Yorkshire to Bassenthwaite in Cumbria. She now works with Julia Bradbury and The Outdoor Guide as wheelchair advisor. She develops wheel friendly walks and seeks out accessible places to eat, drink and stay. She uses a range of all- terrain wheelchairs when developing accessible treks to create barrier free walks from push doable through to high mountain adventures with the TerrainHopper. She is a volunteer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is a member of their Local Access Forum. has a wealth of experience accessing the countryside. Debbie and her husband Andy are published authors and Key Note Speakers.

The main obstacle for wheelchair users in the countryside is stiles, gates and steps. My work with The Outdoor Guide with Julia Bradbury is to get out into the countryside and develop wheel –friendly treks and find the perfect place to stay, to eat and hopefully find a pub where I can enjoy a well- earned pint at the end of the day! All with an eye for wheelchair accessibility. I have a wealth of experience in accessing the countryside and use a range of all- terrain wheelchairs when designing routes. I mirror the walks completed by Julia Bradbury, making sure the routes are accessible for all. I will be sharing my experiences and will talk about the highlights and the pitfalls of trying to make the inaccessible accessible.

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