Surfing the Treetops
A new high-ropes adventure experience has opened on the banks of the Tamar on the Cornwall and Devon border.
Following months of planning and preparation, Tree Surfers received its first customers in May half term. Created by the Dartmoor Adventure Company, the eco-educational project is set to generate employment opportunities and trade for the area whilst creating a stimulating activity for youngsters and outdoor enthusiasts.
Milton Abbott based outdoor experts, Paul Turner and Kate Blake, had their planning permission successfully granted by the council in February after submitting plans last September.
Kate Blake commented; "With Tree Surfers we want to create an environment where youngsters can engage with the natural woodland and learn about the surrounding wildlife and unusual archaeological features the Tamar Valley has to offer. We will be creating a variety of stimulating activities that will provide an adrenaline boost and a sense of achievement at the end of it. This will include tree climbing, zip lining through the tree tops and simulated parachute drops."
The treetop activity centre site is expected to boost the local economy with the creation of six jobs and will be located on the Tavistock Woodlands Estate in Gulworthy, Tavistock just off the A390. The centre is aimed at creating a unique recreational and educational experience for both local residents and visiting tourists. Similar tree activity courses have been successfully launched across the country. The nearest one to Tree Surfers is located near Exeter.
The name ‘tree surfing’ comes from an extreme sport practiced by a small majority of people around the world. They climb tall trees to ride the branches in the wind just as others surf or skate board.
The centre is set to attract a wide variety of visitors from families and school groups to corporate guests seeking a team building day out. "We’re keen to encourage schools to come along not only as part of their national curriculum but to have some fun in the great outdoors. The activities on offer are also ideal for corporate parties in building team skills and challenging colleagues both mentally and physically," said Paul Turner.
The project has had the approval from Natural England and the support of Tamar Valley AONB. Tim Selman from the Tamar AONB commented; “We fully endorse the project’s aim to provide a new and exciting facility which will help people understand and enjoy the wonderful heritage and environment of this area, which previously had no public access within living memory."
Nadine Trout, tourism manager at West Devon Borough Council, said that it is "a really exciting venture and a fantastic opportunity for both visitors and locals alike to uniquely enjoy the special qualities of the Tamar Valley."