See Southampton publish ‘From Parks to Port’ – an accessible trail for the City

Local volunteer group See Southampton have produced new online and published material highlighting an accessible walking trail within the City. Made possible by a Community Chest Grant, the walking trail is titled ‘From Parks to Port’, and takes visitors on a journey of exploration from the City Art Gallery and the Parks in the north of the city to God’s House Tower close to the Docks. The trail is very much a sensorial experience, engaging colour, smell, texture, water and visual stimuli.

See Southampton Chair Nigel Philpott said: ‘We are very thankful for the Community Chest grant which has enabled our volunteers – led by Katie Santos and her team of designers – to produce a publication highlighting the richness of our city, and making it accessible to as many audiences as possible. We have taken great trouble to understand the needs of a number of audiences with accessibility needs. Online for example, the 15 descriptive points of interest may be accessed / heard by the visually impaired via optical character recognition (OCR) software’.

Councillor Sarah Vaughan, Shadow Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Crime Prevention, was delighted with the production, praising the leaflet design: ‘They are amazing, the work which has gone into the walking map is incredible. Please pass on my gratitude and thanks to the team who created these documents and brought the walking map to life.’

The leaflet is available to download from the See Southampton website at Hard copies can also be picked from certain venues in Southampton, including the City Library, SeaCity Museum and Westgate Tower (operated by See Southampton volunteer guides on Sundays).

There will be an opportunity to undertake the accessible walk on Sunday 12 March at 11.30am, accompanied by See Southampton Guides Katie Santos and Martin Brisland. Tickets are free of charge but must be booked in advance through EventBrite.

Katie added: ‘We are looking forward to welcoming as many people as possible on the walk, and particularly encourage those in wheelchairs, mobility scooters and with assistance dogs. A hearing loop will also be used. The accessible trail walk is being staged on a Sunday when the route will be less busy and quieter, and will last approx. 90 mins, though guests are welcome to stay for as long as they wish. The published trail is designed to be self-led, but we understand that many people will prefer to be accompanied and have points of interest explained to them by a trained guide. On walk one, on 12th March, we will pause by – amongst other sites – The Titanic Engineers’ Memorial, the Queen’s Peace Fountain and the ‘mosaic pond’.’