New kissing gate helps disabled access to Skegness nature reserve

Disabled Paul Marshall (centre) with Coun Colin Davie and Kev Wilson, warden at Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve., ANL-160626-103840001
Disabled Paul Marshall (centre) with Coun Colin Davie and Kev Wilson, warden at Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve., ANL-160626-103840001

Disabled residents in Skegness are welcoming a new kissing gate which allows them access to a local nature reserve.

The gate at the south car park of Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve was officially opened by Colin Davie, executive councillor for development on Lincolnshire County Council, in the presence of Kev Wilson, nature reserve warden, and Paul Marshall - the man who campaigned for it.

Mr Marshall, of Countryside For All, said: “I am a local resident with mobility problems and use a mobility scooter.

“I used to be a keen walker and joined Countryside For All to work with councils on opening up pathways and making them more accessible.

“There used to be a very old structure at the nature reserve, making it very tight to negotiate and my mobility scooter used to get stuck.

“I contacted Kev and he approached Lincolnshire County Council and this is the result.

“Having this now means freedom - it allows me to get along tracks and out and about.”

Mr Marshall said he would like to highlight the fact the nature reserve did a lot for the disabled.

He said: “They built a ramp system so people can get over the hump, the new visitor centre also has a ramp so wheelchairs and mobility schooters can use it, and most of the paths are solid and usable.”

Mr Wilson said: “We had a real conundrum with the area - keeping out the vehicles we don’t want, such as trials bikes that might disturb wildlife, but allowing mobility scooters. We looked at modifying the entrance with Paul’s guidance on what he can and can’t use and worked with our partners at Lincolnshire County Council to install the new gate.”

Coun Davie said he was delighted the county council had been able to support the project.