Go Ape eyeing up Romford park as potential location for new tree top adventure course
PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:38 02 November 2017
A Go Ape zip-line adventure centre could soon be opening in Bedfords Park, the Recorder can reveal.
The Recorder understands that Havering Council has been approached by national woodland activity company Go Ape with a proposal to lease two substantial areas of interconnected parkland and ancient woodland within the Romford park.
The plans, which are in the earliest consultation phase, would see zip wires, tree-top walkways and a number of training and storage facilities installed.
Go Ape describes itself as “an unrivalled experience in the great outdoors where you can live life a bit more adventurously”.
Currently, there are 30 Go Ape centres spread across the UK’s forests and parks, offering a range of tree top adventures alongside zip-line experiences and Segway tours.
A spokeswoman for Go Ape confirmed the company was exploring the possibility of opening a new centre in Havering.
Frances Buck, Go Ape’s business development manager, said: “Go Ape is in early discussions regarding the possibility of bringing an adventure to Bedfords Park.
“We are currently in the initial stages of a pre-planning consultation process.”
But not everyone is happy about the possibility of a high-wire adventure course coming to the park – which has been nominated for Fields in Trust’s best park in the east of England award this year.
Maintained by the Essex Wildlife Trust and Havering Council, the 215 acres of Bedfords Park are home to a wide range of birds and other wildlife, and some are concerned that a Go Ape opening in the park would have a huge impact on their habitat.
A spokeswoman for the Friends of Bedfords Park (FOBP) said: “Bedfords is a tranquil place to wander, watch deer and wildlife, admire bluebells, see hundreds of crows, jackdaws and rooks flying across from surrounding countryside to roost in the tall trees at dusk.
“Imagine a zip wire here!
“If public parks are leased in this manner, a precedent will be set and floodgates opened to treasured green spaces being turned into theme parks.”
A Havering Council spokesman also confirmed: “We are in early discussions with Go Ape looking at the possibility of opening an adventure site at Bedfords Park.”