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The first pieces of new equipment for an exciting children’s adventure trail have arrived at the Forestry Commission’s Whinlatter Forest.
So far five of a planned eight exciting play areas that will form the Whinlatter Wildplay have been put in place – these include a fun car tyre swing, toddler play huts, a construction station with transport systems of pulleys, and a birds nest swing and suspension bridge.
When completed, the Whinlatter Wildplay adventure trail will be a superb new way for children aged between six and 13-years-old to experience a healthy and physical challenge set in the stunning natural environment of England’s only mountain forest.
Paul Brown, Forestry Commission recreation ranger at Whinlatter, said:
“The Whinlatter Wildplay is taking shape now and is looking really good. When it is completed this will be a fantastic adventure trail for children and will help us to attract more families to spend days in this wonderful forest.
I am sure the Whinlatter Wildplay will be as big a hit with kids as our mountain bike trails and Go Ape attractions have proved to be with adults.”
Other exciting features still to be built include a timber-clad bouldering wall – a small climbing wall - a water feature with Archimedes screws, an 11 metre-long slide as well as a scrambling net, climbing structure and a cradle swing.
Once the features have all been put in place safety padding will be fitted and a 600 metre trail will be created to link the play zones together.
The equipment has been designed to provide children with physical challenges to help improve balance, strength, aerobic fitness, co-ordination, risk-taking and team work.
The Whinlatter Wildplay has been created with a £200,000 investment by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, investing in rural areas, and is being delivered with the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). It is estimated that the attraction will provide around half a million pounds of extra income to the local economy with 50,000 extra visitors spending in the forest and with nearby retailers.
Graeme Prest, Forestry Commission area manager for North West England, said:
“It is great to see the Whinlatter Wildplay coming along so well. The facilities we have developed at Whinlatter in recent years are absolutely fantastic and the Wildplay trail adds to this already excellent range of attractions within the forest."
The Whinlatter Wildplay is due to open in time for the Easter holidays.
For more information about Whinlatter Forest please visit www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter
Notes to editors
The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain, with responsibility for more than one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. The North West England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber.
Sarah Bruce on 01229 8620111.