7th December 2012
STOKE PARK: SITE OF UK’S PREMIERE ECO AERIAL ADVENTURE COURSE
New Environmentally Sound and Inclusive Aerial Adventure Course Set to Generate over £1m for Guildford Borough Council
7th December 2012. Guildford Borough Council has agreed a licence with Wild Wood Adventure Ltd, a company wholly owned by Craggy Island Ltd, which operates indoor climbing centres at Slyfield in Guildford and in Sutton, for a brand new aerial adventure park.
The proposed above-the-ground adventure facility is to be one of the largest in the UK comprising over 30 separate aerial-stations. At the new Wild Wood Aerial Adventure, there is to be both a high, and a low-rope course, incorporating zip-wires, towers, wobbly bridges and complemented by challenging obstacles, a 15 metre descender along with other physically taxing tasks for children and adults alike.
Wild Wood Aerial Adventure will be located at Peacock Wood on the north side of Stoke Park opposite The Spectrum Leisure Centre. Easily reached by foot from the town centre and the Spectrum Park & Ride or, by car from Parkway past Guildford Lido, the new ‘inclusive’ facility is to be constructed giving consideration to a range of abilities.
1. Front Elevation of proposed new Wild Wood adventure.
The entrance and reception will be located adjacent The Bowls Club in Lido Road, where customers will be kitted out with safety equipment, receive a comprehensive safety briefing and be instructed in the use of the equipment. Wild Wood Aerial Adventure will operate the safe roller system that is a continuous wire which negates the need for participants to reattach themselves to the safety line after completing each obstacle as is the case on most high ropes adventure courses. This safe system cannot be disconnected during use which means it can be used by large groups and schools.
The aerial course will weave its way through the trees on two levels, one in the canopy of the trees, with others attached to posts or tree trunks. The aim is to make the attraction attainable for all levels of ability; however there will be optional sections that are extremely challenging for those wishing to indulge in a little added adventure.
Rob Mitchell Director of Craggy Island explains, “We have worked very hard with Guildford Borough Council to make sure the new Wild Wood Aerial Adventure attraction is both exciting and sympathetic to the beautiful surroundings of Stoke Park.”
Detailed surveys and assessments have been carried out on the trees to ensure minimal impact. Environmentally sound materials are to be used to both enhance the design and to lower the carbon footprint of the project. It is anticipated that during construction that Wild Wood will be making extensive improvements to the Peacock Wood by clearing and coppicing and improving footpaths along with planting new trees.
Phil Newcombe, Head of Parks and Leisure Services at Guildford Borough Council explains, “As part of our work to transform our services, we continue to seek new and diversified ways to generate income and improve our facilities. By teaming up with Craggy Island Ltd,we can provide an exciting adventure activity for people of all ages and abilities. By accommodating the Wild Wood Aerial Adventure we will raise revenue, improve the park, provide an additional attraction for Guildford Borough and create employment. Whilst this venture constitutes a significant investment by both Craggy Island and the Council, the revenue we generate over the term of the licence is likely to be over £1m.”
A planning application is likely to be submitted this winter, with an estimated opening for Spring 2013, subject to approval.
Rob Mitchell may be contacted for interviews on 07500 770104.
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