A NATURE walk has been created to help those with physical and mental disabilities get out into the countryside.

The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has launched a dementia-friendly trail as part of its monthly events programme.

The Birch Hills trail provides an easily accessible route designed to be supportive for those who live with dementia and provides easy to recognise symbols to help navigate the stile-free mile-and-a-half walk.

The route also includes several benches and picnic tables allowing lots of opportunities to stop and take in the sights and sounds of the area.

A booklet highlighting the wildlife and heritage interest will also be available.

The woodland route is also available for Trampers, an all terrain, four-wheel electric buggy which can be used on country tracks, mud and grass.

The buggies allow those who have difficulty walking, or those with physical disabilities, to get out and about in the countryside.

Sandra Silk, of the Forest of Bowland AONB, said: "We want everyone to be able to enjoy the countryside and not to let disabilities hold people back.

"This trail is great for those who may normally be hesitant in venturing out into the Forest of Bowland due to one reason or another.

"But we hope this specially adapted route will help give people confidence to get out into this beautiful area and enjoy the amazing views and discover what it has to offer.

"It's been great to work with Forestry England, the Bentham Line Community Rail Partnership and United Utilities on this trail."

A dementia-friendly guided walk starts on Saturday, May 25 at 11am to let visitors try out the route, with the option of bringing along a picnic to enjoy at the end of the walk in the walled garden.

A Tramper taster event will take place the following Tuesday and several guided sessions will be going on throughout the day.

Both events start at the Gisburn Forest and Stocks and both require booking.

Visitors will have the chance to try out a buggy too, however spaces are limited.

Both May events are free but donations on the Tramper taster day are welcome.

To book onto either event, contact Ms Silk on 01200 448000 or email sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk.