For 17 years visitors have made their way to Faskally Woods, Pitlochary, to attend the spectacular light show of The Enchanted Forest. This year it is running for an extended 5 weeks, with 80,000 people expected to attend, it is a must-see show which nearly sells out instantly every year. Claire, our Marketing Manager, has wanted to visit for a few years now, however, she has always been put off by the poor information provided on their website.
Their websites states that the forest trail is not suitable for electric wheelchairs, which is the type of wheelchair that Claire uses. Being a wheelchair user for over 20 years, and visiting many places, Claire found it very hard to believe as electric wheelchairs are usually the best for forest trails.
After contacting them, she was invited to attend their press night last year in exchange for an accessibility review. From that feedback, the organisers looked into what difficulties she faced and spent £6,000 to improve their accessibility. She was delighted to be invited back again this year to update her findings and enjoy another great night with her friends.
Mostly all the pathways around Faskally Woods are very flat and smooth for wheelchairs to drive on. When Claire first visited, she was concerned that there would be a lot of tree trunks underneath the pathway obstructing where she’d be able to drive. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case and she was able to move around most of the trail without assistance.
The only two areas she needed help were when she came down the hill from the food trucks and when she went over to the fire pit and got stuck in the dense bark. Unfortunately, this is something that the wheels on Claire’s chair do not do well in, but this did not impact her enjoyment of going around the site. As a further recommendation, she has suggested putting mats down in the problem areas.
Claire’s favourite accessible feature, which might sound a little strange, was the Changing Places toilet. This is an improvement that was made this year after her last visit and is a fantastic facility to allow all visitors to feel included. The Enchanted Forest also hire a mobile changing place toilet which further enhances their approach to inclusion. (OOVIRT proudly work with PAMIS who has a portable Changing Place toilet that can be hired out for any event to make it more accessible – click here to find out more!)
On reflection of the details provided on The Enchanted Forest website, Claire feels the lack of access information is because the organisers are afraid to say something is accessible and then a visitor encounters a problem. Unfortunately, this is a common fear with many business owners which in turn reduces their potential revenue and makes their business less inclusive to all.
More accessibility awareness is needed within businesses to make all customers experience a great service. Our team has first-hand knowledge of staff training and what problems your customers may face. Contact us today to start your accessibility awareness journey to become an inclusive business.