Aug 3 2012 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Friday
RESIDENTS at Camphill Blair Drummond have blazed a trail as part of a photography project that’s hoped will put the focus on Stirling.
A trio of residents from the local community for adults with complex learning disabilities put their best feet forward last week to help shine a light on the Photo Trails initiative, which hopes to identify local walks suitable for users of all abilities.
The walks, recorded by the students with help from Camphill Blair Drummond staff and families, will be photographed, mapped and posted on the internet for the benefit of others at a special website – www.phototrails.org.
The inaugural local photo trail – a circular route from the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling, around the Kings Knot, and returning through the woods, mapped by Camphill residents Gordon, Harriet and Ryan – is the first of many that the residents hope to produce, enabling residents to work alongside others, including schools and walking groups.
The website features input from those who mapped the trail focusing on what they can see, hear, and experience along the route, in addition to information about the physical nature of the trail.
Alison Rae, a project officer with project organisers the Fieldfare Trust, explained: “The primary objective of the photo trails website is to enable users to make an informed decision on whether to visit a location. It allows disabled visitors, in particular, to make up their own mind if a trail is accessible to them.
“The photo trail produced by the residents of Camphill Blair Drummond fully embraces these objectives, and visitors to the Kings Knot and the Butt Well can view the trail and read about its features through the eyes of the residents.
“We have been delighted to work with the residents of Camphill Blair Drummond – their enthusiasm for the project has been very encouraging and we hope that they go on to submit more of their favourite walks.”
The project was made possible by a grant of £432 for camera equipment and computer software from the Sons of the Rock Society, a grant-making good cause covering the Stirling and Falkirk areas which supports individuals and smaller community groups.
Current society president Alison Jack declared: “We are delighted to see the launch of the photo trails project and look forward to watching its development. The opportunity for Camphill Blair Drummond residents to work alongside local schools and walking groups exemplifies the added benefit to the individuals involved and the wider community in the Stirling area, which is a key feature of the society’s grants programme.”
Elsie Riley, the regional fundraising manager at Camphill, said: “We have already seen the benefits photography projects can have in developing the confidence of adults with learning disabilities. They have been able to learn new skills in digital photography and mapping and share these with members of the wider public. Ultimately, the project will result in many more people being able to access and enjoy our beautiful countryside, without being limited by their level of ability.”
Alison can be reached on 01334 657708 or www.phototrails.org.
For more information on Camphill Blair Drummond contact Elsie on 01786 843047 or visit www.camphillblairdrummond.org.uk