A NEW project aims to improve disabled access to a much-loved part of the community.

Allington Hill, Cooper’s Wood and Field Community Group started the Cooper’s Circle forest school area more than two years ago. It was installed within Cooper’s Wood accessed from Hospital Lane.

It has been so popular with schools, walking groups, family activity events and children's birthday parties, as well as amongst groups of friends meeting around a campfire during summer.

Catherine Harvey, of the Allington Hillbillies, says the parish council and Hillbilly group are 'very aware' it is not suitable for all.

Catherine said: "It is a fair distance from the main entrance, making it impossible for people with disabilities to access. The group have the opportunity to access funding to provide an outdoor wellbeing area, close to the main entrance.

"Access would be suitable for electric buggies and wheelchairs and would be designed to be suitable for outdoor activities such as Toddlers Forest School and Dorset Forest School Greenwood events, especially designed events for older people. Once installed, the area would be screened by natural planting and after the disruption of initial installation it will blend into the natural tree line which already exists."

The community is invited to have a say in the plans.

"We understand that there will be concerns from local people that already use the area and a lot of interest from local wellbeing groups who will be able to use this special green space," said Catherine.

"To find out more and voice your concerns or interest in this project, we will are inviting people to come along to the next Allington Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, January 8, at 7pm at the Cherry Tree community hall where we will be delivering a short presentation of the planned project."

The Hillbillies are renowned for getting the local community involved in many different outdoor activities. In October, a small group started to meet to crochet and knit poppies for First World War commemorations.

Afterwards, members didn’t want to stop their Tuesday night meetings and carried on. They have now decided to form a group called the Crafty Hillbillies, and will be meeting every Tuesday from January 8 at The White Lion, West Allington.

Their first project will be Twiddle muffs for Bridport Hospital. If you would like to join the group or donate wool, contact Sarah at CoopersCircle@gmail.com.