All-terrain chair users and friends/family along the Wivenhoe Trail

Inclusive walking

Inclusive walking simply refers to approaches which seek to maximize opportunities for walkers of all abilities to enjoy the benefits of walking. It is based on three objectives:

  • Equal means where possible
  • Equal outcomes where different means are necessary
  • Equal access to information

Inclusive pathways

An inclusive approach to mapping pathways is based on an understanding that all paths are more or less accessible i.e. they exist on a spectrum of accessibility, which makes it difficult to usefully define one as ‘accessible’ and another not, without the specific vantage point of the user. The focus of inclusive mapping is therefore on detailing the paths, not the user, although recommendations are also made for paths/routes that are considered to have a higher level of overall accessibility.


We use the following terms in the ways described:

  • Walking: the act of getting around by the simplest physical means possible, whether on foot or by chair, independently or assisted.
  • Access/accessible: used both in a generic sense (getting to/into/around) and with
specific reference – in context – to the extent to which a place/space/facility can be used
with ease by people with mobility or other impairments.
  • Inclusive: designs and environments that can be used with maximum ease by a broad
 range of people.
  • Designated (non-designated): spaces/places specifically designed with the needs of particular groups in mind e.g. w/c accessible parking or toilet facilities.

Mapping our paths, trails, parks and green open spaces

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