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RSPB Lodge Nature Reserve

The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL

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About this venue

Located on Bedfordshire's Greensand Ridge, RSPB The Lodge nature reserve and gardens has over 5 miles of trails, leading through tranquil woodland, an historic Iron Age hillfort,heathland and formal gardens. A hide looks over small pools where birds and other wildlife come to feed. The RSPB shop sells gifts, optics and bird food, and you can enjoy a fresh sandwich or salad from the chiller, or a well deserved ice cream or hot drink after your walk.

Access Guide

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COVID-19 Information

Opening Hours

Location

  • There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest National Rail station is Sandy.

Parking

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park View
    • Parking is free for members and visitors to the shop, for all other visitors there is a parking charge.
    • The car park is located off Potton Road.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • There is/are 6 Blue Badge parking bay(s) within the car park.
    • The route from the car park to the entrance is accessible to a wheelchair user with assistance.
    • Assistance may be required because there is/are loose chippings.
    • The car park surface is loose chippings.
    • There is not a road to cross between the car park and the entrance.
    • The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
  • Drop-off Point View
    • There is not a designated drop off point.
  • Comments View
    • There is a signposted Blue Badge parking area, with 6 parking spaces.

Outside Access (Shop - Ramped Entrance)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
    • There is ramped/sloped access at this entrance.
    • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
    • The door(s) is/are single width.
    • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.
    • The width of the door opening is 95cm.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located to the right of the entrance.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are on the left going up.

Outside Access (Shop - Stepped Entrance)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located at the side of the building.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance.
    • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
    • The door(s) is/are single width.
    • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.
    • The width of the door opening is 110cm.
  • Step(s) View
    • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
    • There is/are 3 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 16cm.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are not easy to grip.
  • Comments View
    • The hand rails are located to the left and right of the steps, respectively.

Shop

  • There is step free access throughout the shop.
  • The surface of the flooring is carpet.
  • There is clear space along the majority of aisles.
  • Refreshments can be purchased from the shop.
  • There are two payment counters.
  • Both payment counters are 91cm high.

Picnic Area

  • The picnic area is located between the parking and the shop.
  • There is step free access to the picnic area and throughout the picnic area.
  • The picnic area has a grass surface.
  • There are picnic tables available.
  • Some of the picnic tables have space for a wheelchair user to sit at the table.
  • The height from the floor to the underside of the adapted picnic tables is 74cm.
  • There is a sheltered seating area with bench seating.
  • There are water bowls for dogs available.

Accessible Toilet (External Toilet Block)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is located in the toilet block area, to the right of the picnic area.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a shared toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a locking handle.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 86cm (2ft 10in).
    • The door is easy to open.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 195cm x 144cm (6ft 5in x 4ft 9in).
    • There is not sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is not a lateral transfer space.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are sanitary disposal units.
    • There is a/are coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 47cm (1ft 7in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the hand dryer is 107cm (3ft 6in).
    • There is not a towel dispenser.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
    • The height of the wash basin is 81cm (2ft 8in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are good.

Standard Toilet(s) (External Toilet Block)

Level Change (Standard Toilets)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in the doorway of each toilet.
  • There is/are 1 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are deep (18cm+).
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).

Wild Play Trail

  • The Wild Play Trail is the reserve's play area, it is located next to the main car park and off the start of the Woodpecker Trail.
  • There is step free access at both access points to the Play Trail.
  • There is step free access throughout the area.
  • There is bench seating available.
  • The type of play equipment includes -
  • Den building area
  • Natural play equipment
  • Insect hotel – add your own twigs to help give bugs a home.

Visitor Centre

  • The Visitor Centre is located opposite to the car park.
  • The path from the car park to the Visitor Centre crosses the access road.
  • Caution is advised when crossing the road.
  • There is step free access to the Visitor Centre.
  • The doors to the visitor centre are double width, they are held open and they are 225cm wide.
  • The height of the counter is 102cm.
  • There are information points around the Visitor Centre about the reserve.
  • There is a member of staff located at the Visitor Centre who can answer questions.

Nature Reserve - Buzzard Trail

  • The Buzzard Trail begins next to the Visitor Centre.
  • The Buzzard Trail is 1.5 miles long. Allow around 1.5 hours to complete this trail.
  • The route takes you through the Iron Age Hill Fort and around the heathland.
  • There are maps of the trails available online which can be downloaded or available from the shop and the Visitor Centre.
  • There are finger posts directional sign posts located along the trails at regular intervals.
  • There is bench seating located along the trail.
  • The Buzzard Trail is circular route starting and ending at the Visitor Centre.
  • There is step free access along the trail.
  • There are very slight, slight and steep places along the path.
  • There is a long steep on the path leading up to/down from the Galley Hill Iron Fort.
  • If the slope at Galley Hill is not suitable, it is advisable to retrace the trail back to the Visitor Centre.
  • The majority of the paths have a compact earth surface.
  • At the bottom of Galley Hill the surface of the path is sand.
  • The underlying sand base means that the paths do not become muddy.
  • The path may be uneven in places due to rocks or tree roots.

Nature Reserve - Nuthatch Trail

  • The Nuthatch Trail begins next to the Visitor Centre.
  • The Nuthatch Trail is 1.5 miles long, Allow around 1.5 hours to complete this trail.
  • The route takes you around The Lodge buildings, through woodland and linking up with The Lodge gardens.
  • There are maps of the trails available online which can be downloaded or available from the shop and the visitor centre.
  • There are finger posts directional sign posts located along the trails at regular intervals.
  • The Nuthatch Trail is circular route starting and ending at the Visitor Centre.
  • There is step free access along path's at the beginning of the trail.
  • The Meadow Hide (closed at the time of surveying for refurbishment) and the Lodge Gardens are located along the Nuthatch Trail.
  • Shortly after the trail passes the gate to the Lodge Gardens, the path goes towards the Old Quarry and there are a large number of steps located along the remainder of the trail.
  • If the steps are not suitable it is advisable to retrace the trail back to the Visitor Centre.
  • The underlying sand base means that the paths do not become muddy.
  • The path may be uneven in places due to rocks or tree roots.

Lodge Gardens

  • The Lodge Gardens are located off the Nuthatch Trail.
  • The gate located on the path have the Meadow Hide provides step free access to the gardens.
  • There are gates located further along the trail in the old quarry area which have stepped access to the gardens.
  • There is step free access throughout the majority of the gardens.
  • The majority of the gardens have a grass surface.
  • The paths around the pond have a paving stone surface.
  • There is bench seating located around the gardens.
  • There are areas of the gardens near the pond which have stepped access.
  • The Tree of Life is located next to the gardens and there is a bench located next to the tree.

Nature Reserve - Woodpecker Trail

  • The Woodpecker Trail begins next to the Visitor Centre.
  • The Woodpecker Trail is 2 miles long. The route takes you through grassland, woodland and heathland habitats.
  • There are maps of the trails available online which can be downloaded or available from the shop and the Visitor Centre.
  • There are finger posts directional sign posts located along the trails at regular intervals.
  • The Woodpecker Trail is circular route starting and ending at the Visitor Centre.
  • There is step free access along paths.
  • There are very slight, slight and steep slopes located along the trail in places.
  • As the path reaches the main woodland there is a long steep slope leading down into the woodland.
  • If the slope is not suitable it is advisable to retrace the trail back to the Visitor Centre.
  • The underlying sand base means that the paths do not become muddy.
  • The path may be uneven in places due to rocks or tree roots.

Additional Info

  • Staff do receive disability awareness / equality training.
  • Documents are not available in Braille.
  • Documents are available in large print.
  • A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not generally on duty.
  • Staff are not Text Relay aware.