Sunday, 14 June 2009


I wonder what you readers think about high wire adventure parks. GoApe has recently opened in Rivington and not without a lot of opposition from local environmental groups not least because some trees were felled to make room for it. I took a walk there last night.

I couldn't tell where the felled trees had been because there were no obvious open spaces and the zip wires ran close between the trees. (That said, felling is very undesirable unless absolutely necessary.)

I was first introduced to aerial adventures parks about ten years ago in France - and had a great time! The courses were mentally and physically challenging but also rewarding to complete.

I think they encourage young people to leave their PCs and enjoy the great outdoors - surely that can't be all bad? Also once you're up high in a tree you begin to realise just how wonderful, majestic and tall trees are. I suppose some might object to wildlife disturbance but the reality is that participants can't go anywhere following the defined courses. What do you think?
Apols for image not being very good; it was taken with a mobile phone in the gloaming.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Rivington, Carol? Where the reservoirs are? Sounds an odd place for a kind of theme park - but I do agree with what you say about dragging young people away from TV - and giving them some exercise and a different persepctive. I think your pic is quite good. Word verification is splat - hope that is not meant to signify somebody falling off from a great height!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I think these kinds of playparks can be really good, but they do need to be constructed sensitively. (Avoiding felling trees would be a good starting point). I think there are a lot of them in germany, where they have a more mature attitude to risk. I'll look out for this one next time I'm in Rivington, which is a place i sometimes go when I'm visiting my parents.

Coastcard said...

Interesting issues raised here. I need to sit on the fence (or up the pole?0 while I work out my thoughts. I get frustrated sometimes when beautiful heritage places (e.g. stately homes) have big adventure parks spoiling the view. I can see it draws in the families - and perhaps it is better to have something for the young ones so that all ages can enjoy a day out together. SOMETIMES, though, I feel it goes too far - and the peace and intended ambience (& views and wildlife?) suffer disruption. I suppose we all 'get possessive' of 'our' special peaceful corners! - but someone, surely, has to keep environmental concerns in the frame.

Mistlethrush said...

Thanks for your thoughts and do keep posting them.

I can't help thinking that when I was little we played out a lot, climbed trees, built dens and probably damaged trees etc in the process. I certainly picked flowers. But in this age when children aren't allowed to play out on their own in the woods so much, such supervised activity assists this and avoids the lots of 'bits of damage' we made.

So what does everyone else think?

Coastcard said...

In my experience many children still run about freely and play at will (& this is in the city and its streets and green spaces/patches of suburban woodland).

I suppose we did our fair share of swinging on branches, knocking down conkers etc. but it was somehow very innocent. We were taught wildflower names at school from the age of 9, and had tests on them. We were told never to pick orchids etc.

Mistlethrush said...

We weren't taught wild flower names at school - which is probably why I now have a pocket flower ID book in my handbag!

Deborah Rey said...

My grandson loves the 'Going Ape' Park not too far from where we live. I would, too! Oh, to be a kid again (and able to walk).

Dragging young people away from TV and those horrid Xbox games is up to the parents/grandparents. We set time limits for both and offer a more exciting/healthier alternative. Kids are glued to TVs and such, because their parents don't give them enough attention, I think.

Love you site.

Deborah Rey

Mistlethrush said...

Thanks for your comments Deborah.

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.