Funding of £6400 has been awarded to NatureScot for the purchase of two all-terrain beach wheelchairs, one for adult users and the other for smaller adults and children.
The wheelchairs will be based at St Cyrus National Nature Reserve and will allow access to areas of the beach previously impossible to reach by wheelchair users.
As a result, visitors with mobility issues will soon have the chance to join in activities and guided walks and explore other areas of the reserve such as the cliffs, bird hide and forest school – for the very first time.
Therese Alampo of NatureScot said: “Getting this grant is going to mean so much for everyone who gets to use the new beach chairs, not only the users themselves but to their friends and families too.
"Following the creation of a changing places toilet this is the perfect next step to making this beautiful National Nature Reserve more accessible to everyone. We are very grateful for the support.”
The grant is part of £73,000 in funding from Aberdeenshire Council’s 2021-22 Coastal Communities Challenge Fund and was awarded to organisations along the region’s coast by the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG).
Eight projects in total were successful including East Grampian Coastal Partnership which will use its £4616 to support and deploy educational and outreach resources and equipment for use with schools, community groups and volunteers.
Equipment purchased will include event materials such as pop-up banners and A-frame signs, plus binoculars and telescopes for wildlife watching.
Mike Skitmore, of EGCP, said: “This funding will provide EGCP with a fantastic opportunity to both develop and promote a number of our proposed community educational and outreach activities relating to the preservation and conservation of the Aberdeenshire coast. As a direct result we will be able to engage with more people and to deploy more volunteers in some exciting new projects.”
The funding programme distributes revenues generated by Crown Estate Scotland, from which the council receives an annual allocation.