Steve had an above the knee amputation during a car accident 40 years ago. Since then he has successfully worn/used artificial limbs and had a successful career as a graphic designer. However, enjoyment of the great outdoors has been an issue. Now that Steve and his wife have retired he wants to have more choice of places to visit.
The couple joined the National Trust last year, but Steve’s inability to walk restricted their enjoyment. However, it was earlier the year Steve and his wife visited Buckland Abbey and discovered Countryside Mobility.
Read Steve’s story as he describes his first of many trips on an all-terrain Tramper, along with what Countryside Mobility has meant to him.
“Having learnt about ‘Trampers’ from a friend and booked the machine, we arrived at the visitor centre. Once in the centre the Tramper was sat there in all its glory, a big beast but looked like it really could take on anything. The lovely lady signed me up for a year, she then explained the controls. Really easy to understand and operate, giving us a laminated A4 map indicating Tramper friendly routes. Once onboard the fun really began.”
“The sheer joy of being given instant mobility to explore the grounds with my wife, who was equally enjoying the freedom, was brilliant. I was able to get down to the Abbey entrance (a long slope, a no go on a false leg), and then go into the Abbey on foot; something that would have been impossible before. Great fun too. It certainly gave my wife a bit of a workout in ‘hare mode’. In confined areas the ‘tortoise mode’ was very reassuring too and the brake applies automatically once it stops.
“I am 6’2” tall (on one side!!) and the false leg was able to fit onboard with me sat on the seat. Lots of room to relax. False legs still hurt even after 40 years and if they are folded in a certain way it is just unbearable and pointless effort to get comfortable. The armrests being able to be raised was one of the most important elements of the Tramper. Without this I would not have been able to use it.”
“One of the volunteers showed us a ‘yellow route.’ This was a mile or so long. It was brilliant fun and the freedom was amazing, mostly being in the middle of nowhere with only cows for company, the more than rough surface was no problem. Once again in ‘tortoise mode’ – seriously amazing we could never ever have achieved that before. The stick holder on the rear of the seat was equally simple and invaluable. It could accommodate my crutches too, along with the reverse gear making parking look impressive to the able-bodied.”
“The scheme has given us a new attitude to visiting places and it’s invaluable. We have looked at the 50+ sites and will booking another Tramper very soon.”
We’re pleased to report that Steve has already enjoyed two other hire locations, Haldon Forest and Powderham Castle – providing invaluable insights and suggestions from his experience. Steve is even looking to become part of the Living Options volunteering team.
Are you a Countryside Mobility member? Why not share your favourite Tramper day out? Or if you’ve always wondered about trying one of our Trampers out, have a go this summer!Countryside Mobility website Volunteering at Living Options Devon