WHEELCHAIR users, families with pushchairs and people with limited mobility can enjoy more pathways in the Lake District.

The ‘Miles without Stiles’ project has developed 39 accessible walking routes within the National Park so that more people can enjoy the benefits of the Lakes.

Pathways under the Lake District National Park’s project have been widened and obstacles such as stiles removed to help more disadvantaged walkers use the routes.

Around half of these paths are in South Lakeland, including places such as Scout Scar, Kentmere, Bown-ess to Cockshott Point, Brockhole and Tarn Hows.

The routes fall under three categories — ‘For all’, ‘For many’, and ‘For some’.

Paths ‘for all’ have a gradient of no more than 1:10 and the surface is either tarmac or smooth, compacted stone.

Routes ‘for many’ are ‘suitable for assisted wheelchair users and those with more robust, all-terrain type buggies’, according to the LDNPA website.

Pathways ‘for some’ are for ‘strong, confident wheelchair users’, with handrails and improved surfacing added to these types of paths.

Widths for all footways stand at one metre.

South Lakeland Parks —which has sites in Windermere and Gatebeck — is working with Nurture Lakeland to raise £50,000 to help fund the project.

One of the main routes supported by the caravan park operator is the Staveley Riverside Walk, and money raised will help build a wheelchair accessible bridge and a link to Staveley Mill Yard where visitors can acc-ess local shops and eateries.

“It’s a really brilliant project because it enables families with pushchairs, wheelchair users and people looking for hassle-free walks”, said Amy McLoughlin of Nurture Lakeland.

“It opens up some of the best walks in the Lake District without any obstacles.”

Caroline Guffogg, a man-ager with South Lakeland Parks, said: “We own three parks in Windermere and one in Gatebeck and we thought the Staveley walkway was the most centrally located for our guests.

“Many of our visitors are families and we have a lot of disabled visitors so it is fitting to our business.”

South Lakeland Parks raises money for the projects by asking all clients to donate £1 for every booking made.