The Enchanted Forest is a light show that takes place every year in Faskally Woods, Pitlochary. It’s a sell out event with a theme every year. Our Marketing Manager Claire has been visiting for the last 3 years and has been extremely impressed with how the accessibility has improved over this time for visitors like herself who are wheelchair users.
For our article we are hearing from Tricia Fox, Managing Manager for The Enchanted Forest. We’re finding out how easy they find information about how to improve the accessibility and what their process is on improving the accessibility.
What is your motivation behind wanting to improve the accessibility of The Enchanted Forest?
The Enchanted Forest has always been accessible, however as our number of visitors have increased we have realised that accessibility is a spectrum rather than a specific place or set of circumstances. With that in mind what we are trying to achieve is a better range of solutions for people of all access requirements. We were incredibly grateful to get feedback on areas like “bark makes it difficult for wheelchairs” which means we now put down matting. Sometimes seemingly well-meaning solutions are not appropriate solutions – for instance our original “disabled toilets” were not much use for those who needed assistance as only one chair could get in them. We listen, we learn and we change and hopefully get better in the process.
Do you feel there is enough information online to help know what feature are needed to be as accessible as possible? What is your process in making sure the accessibility of The Enchanted Forest meets the needs of your visitors?
It’s quite a personalised process in all honesty. We request that our visitors with access challenges call us to book – that way we can genuinely talk them through the options available. It makes everyone’s life easier if we get the solution right the first time. We listen to feedback, we crowdsource reviews. It’s a mixture of sources of information but we believe that by working together we can truly make things better.
Is there a key member of your team that deals with accessibility tasks for The Enchanted Forest or do you all work together on this?
Our lead is Zoe Squair, our Producer, however she also works with our operations manager, marketing manager and HR manager to ensure that the solutions are appropriate and communicated well. It’s very much a team effort.
Are there any plans for anymore accessibility features in the future?
We are always evolving so we’ll never say no to that! We have an innate beliefe as a team that we can always do it better next time. Our accessibility bus service this year was new and we’re still finding our feet with how it can work better.
Do you feel a virtual experience would be beneficial to allow visitors to see the trail of The Enchanted Forest before they arrive?
It may do however the trail is probably not the main access challenge if we’re honest, the transport to and from the forest is probably the biggest hurdle and that’s where we are focussed on making sure that the provision is right for as wide a range of access challenges as possible.
Thank you Tricia for answering our questions.
Have you visited The Enchanted Forest before? How accessible did you find it?