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Bluewater Nature Trail

Bluewater, Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9ST

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Access Guide

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Opening Times

  • The venue is open 24hrs.

Getting Here

Getting Help and Assistance

  • Guest services associates, Security officers, Cleaning operatives and Car park attendants receive Autism Awareness training.
  • There is not a member of staff trained in British Sign Language. Please phone the venue in advance for more information.
  • Guest Services Associates do receive training in escorting visually impaired people.
  • Alternative formats of the shopping centre map are available in large print.
  • There is an assistance dog toilet or toileting area at the venue/nearby.
  • The assistance dog toilet or toileting area is located on the grassed areas around the site.
  • There is a designated place of safety which can be used by people with dementia, autism or learning disabilities.
  • The place of safety is located on Lower Rose Gallery, in The Quiet Place.
  • Water bowls for assistance dogs are not available.
  • There are mobility aids available.
  • The mobility aids available include wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
  • To obtain mobility aids please contact Ability Plus.

Parking

Nature Trail

  • The nature trail is located to the north west corner of the shopping centre.
  • The nearest car park is The Village Car Park.
  • The trail starts on the bridge over the boating lake, opposite Zizzi.
  • The trail is 1.1km in length and takes approximately 45 minutes to walk.
  • Maps for the nature trail are available throughout the shopping centre, and at the start of the trail.
  • There are information points and map points located throughout the trail.
  • Bench seating is available throughout the trail.

Access Point (Nature Trail Start)

  • This information is for the access point located opposite Zizzi.
  • This access point gives access to the nature trail.
  • The access point is clearly signed.
  • This access point sign says 'Nature Trail'.
  • There is ramped/sloped access at this access point.
  • The ramp/slope is located in front of the access point, leading onto the bridge.
  • The gradient of the ramp/slope is steep.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is not a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the ramp.
  • Comments View
    • The width of the access point is 360cm.
    • The access point leads onto the bridge across the boating lake.

Boating Lake Section

  • There is a bridge across the boating lake.
  • The gradient of the bridge is slight (3.1 degrees) and goes upwards then downwards.
  • The surface of the bridge is concrete tiles.
  • At the exit of the bridge the surface becomes red tarmac with a green pawprint.
  • The green pawprint is used throughout the trail to mark the route.
  • Bear right.
  • There are 3 pathways. The centre pathway is used for the trail.
  • Follow the pawprint along the central path.
  • The width of the path is 144cm.
  • The pathway widens to over 150cm.
  • After 103m bear right at the fork.
  • Continue along the footpath for 73m and bear left.
  • After 18m there is a designated crossing point.
  • There are information points and directional arrows along the route.

Boating Lake to Mosaic Tunnel

  • From the boating lake there is a zebra crossing.
  • The road is raised, however there is a small lip at the crossing point on both sides.
  • After crossing the road continue straight ahead.
  • There is as slight downwards gradient.
  • The surface of the footpath continues to be red tarmac with green pawprints marking the way.
  • There are 15 (17cm high) steps, without handrails leading from the crossing point to the Pond of Reflection.
  • The steps are compacted gravel and wood and may be slippery.
  • The steps lead onto the grass around the Pond of Reflection.
  • The slope overcomes the steps.
  • After 44m there is bench seating at the bottom of the slope.
  • Continue along the path for 14m.
  • There is a viewing deck to the right.
  • The surface of the deck is wood.
  • Slightly bear left and proceed for 5m to the Mosaic Tunnel.

Mosaic Tunnel to Play Area

  • Continue along the footpath through the Mosaic Tunnel.
  • After 21m exit the tunnel and proceed up a steep slope towards Swan Lake.
  • At the top of the slope, after 10m, bear right and continue to follow the pawprints.
  • There is an additional map board at this point.
  • Continue along the footpath for 60m.
  • The surface of the footpath is uneven in places with trip hazards created by tree roots pushing up the tarmac.
  • There is a slight upwards slope along this section of the path.
  • There is a small activity play area along this section of the path.
  • At the fork, take the left hand path and proceed along a slight downwards slope around a grassed area with bench seating overlooking Swan Lake.
  • The pawprints stop at this point, however there are still signs along the route.
  • There is a steep slope to access the grassed area from the footpath.
  • There is a ball maze toy along this section of the footpath.
  • Continue along the footpath for 105m around the lake to the beach and play area.

Play Area

  • The play area is located to the left of the footpath, facing the beach and lake.
  • The play area is accessed by a gate.
  • The gate opens away from you (push) and is spring loaded.
  • The width of the gate opening is 110cm.
  • There is a steep slope to access the play equipment from the gate.
  • There is a similar gate at the south west end of the playground.
  • The surface of the play area is grassed.
  • The play equipment is a wooden obstacle course.
  • The play equipment is on safety matting.
  • There are picnic benches surrounding the play equipment.
  • The height of the picnic benches is 68cm.

Play Area to Wildlife Viewing Point

  • The beach is on the right of the footpath.
  • Access to the beach is by a steep ramp without handrails.
  • The surface of the beach is gravel.
  • Continue along the footpath for 144m.
  • There are activities and games along the footpath.
  • Some of the games are painted onto the surface of the footpath and may be mistaken for steps.
  • There are bench seats along the pathway.
  • The directional signage changes to Sidney Squirrel.
  • Follow the footpath round to the left.
  • There are butterfly and insect hotels along this section of the trail.
  • There are information boards at the butterfly and insect hotels.
  • There is a noughts and crosses game along this section of the trail.
  • Continue along the trail for approximately 120m to the bridge.
  • The bridge is wooden and may be slippery.
  • There is a very slight upwards slope on the footpath leading to the bridge.
  • The bridge has handrails on both sides.
  • After crossing the bridge take the right hand fork and continue along the footpath to the circular wildlife viewing point.
  • There is a bench at the viewing point.
  • There is a free telescope at the viewing point.
  • There is a step at the telescope.
  • The height of the step is 36cm.

Wildlife Viewing Point to Finish

  • From the viewing point continue to follow the footpath heading back northwards.
  • After 36m bear right and continue to the next wooden bridge.
  • The bridge may be slippery.
  • The bridge has handrails on both sides.
  • Continue along the footpath for 150m to the finish point at the Mosaic Tunnel.
  • There are slight upwards and downwards slopes along this section of the trail.
  • There are no bench seats along this section of the trail.
  • The surface of this section is tarmac, with some uneven areas created by tree roots under the surface of the tarmac.
  • The trail finishes at the Mosaic Tunnel which is located on the right.

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