The Enchanted Forest 2018

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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.

Entrance to the Of The Wild show this year at The Enchanted Forest
Entrance to the Of The Wild show this year at The Enchanted Forest.

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.

Claire looking towards the food area of The Enchanted Forest
Claire at the food area of The Enchanted Forest.

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!)

Claire outside the Mobiloo Changing Places toilet
Claire outside the Mobiloo Changing Places toilet.
Photos of the inside of the Changing Places toilet
Photos of the inside of the Changing Places toilet.

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.

Orange lights hanging from the trees at The Enchanted Forest
Only one of the amazing light displays at The Enchanted Forest.
Follow Claire D'All:

I graduated from the University of Dundee in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Applied Computing. During my studies the field that I had a great interest in was web development however since graduating I have also become very interested in accessibility. I was born with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy and since the age of 3 I have used a wheelchair 24/7. Due to my disability I have always come across problems regarding accessibility, which is why it’s such a passion for me.

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