Connor: A sense of freedom

Outdoor lover Connor uses nature to relax, unwind and forget about the barriers of having a disability

Connor, Humans of the Walk 2021

Connor has a love for the outdoors, stronger than it has ever been. The 26 year old from Fife launched a blog dedicated to identifying accessible routes in his local area. Being a wheelchair user himself, due to a degenerative neurological condition, Friedreich’s Ataxia, Connor wanted to help others explore their natural surroundings and experience the great outdoors.

Chronic conditions can have a big impact on your mental health. The fresh air can help with this as it gives you a sense of freedom and the ability to appreciate other things in life like nature.

Having a disability can put up a lot of barriers but once you are outside in the fresh air you forget about this and let yourself relax, unwind and enjoy the surroundings.

I’m so lucky to have an array of accessible routes on my doorstep, the Fife Coastal Path is also nearby which makes for a lovely trip and I enjoy listening to the sound of the waves.

People living with a disability like to see what a location or route is like before visiting themselves, so my blog is hopefully providing some reassurance to likeminded individuals so that they can get out and explore.

I’ve had people get in touch to say my blog has given them the confidence to visit an area which is brilliant. The information can help those living with a disability, families with kids, individuals with anxiety or those who are mobile but struggle when the path is not in good condition.

Everyone needs to be doing a lot more to help the environment to ensure we are able to keep enjoying these beautiful surroundings we have available – if we all just do our bit it will make a big difference.

Connor’s blog ‘Accessible Walks Scotland’ highlights how accessible a route is including information on the car parking and amenities as well as a general overview of the condition of the path and whether or not you can access it with a wheelchair.

Connor's story is part of our Humans of the Walk campaign during COP26. Check out the full campaign gallery here.