Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Chance to monkey around

More news, no ads



Go Ape, an organisation that provides a high-wire adventure through the trees of Sherwood Pines, offered Advertiser reporter Dominic Howell the chance to try the course. This is how he fared.

When I accepted the assignment I was unaware quite what it would involve.

Walking across trapeze wires, crossing rope bridges 40ft off the ground and sliding down a zip wire 160m long were some of the surprises awaiting me.

As it turned out, while Go Ape at Sherwood Pines Country Park was certainly a test of my nerve, agility and strength, I came away feeling exhausted but exhilarated.

Participants — adults are called gorillas and children baboons — move around the course completing obstacles that range in difficulty and height.

The site manager, Mr Jamie Marshall (28) told me that since Go Ape opened in 2003 there had been some amendments.

There are now six sections to complete on the 12-acre site.

Mr Marshall said it was the only one in the country to have zip wires running from tree to tree.

I was accompanied by two Newark students, Megan Smith (18) and her sister, Bethan (16) of Holden Crescent, and student Rebecca Irwin (17) of Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, who was on a week’s work experience in the Advertiser newsroom.

When we arrived we were fitted into harnesses and given a 20-minute safety briefing by instructor Mr Abraham Ankers.

He told us how to use the harnesses correctly and the importance of acting responsibly on the site.

Staff were on hand to double check our harnesses and to answer any last-minute questions, but we were left to go round the course at our own pace.

If people did not want to try a particular obstacle there was the chance to take a less daunting route.

The first part of the course was relatively easy — scaling up two rope ladders and walking across a fairly short tightrope.

But as we continued round the course, and I became more competent with using my harness, bridges began to get higher, zip wires longer and the obstacles became physically more challenging.

W hen it began to rain the obstacles became quite slippery, which was an added difficulty, but I knew that should I lose my footing I was always secured by my safety harness.

There was a platform on each tree between obstacles offering a place to catch your breath and rest.

A bridge made of small logs was one of the hardest challenges and involved using momentum to swing from one step to the next.

But it was the Tarzan swing off a 40ft ledge and into a climbing net that was both the highlight and the biggest test of nerve.

The course took about three hours to complete and by the end I was tired.

Mr Marshall said: “Seeing people leave satisfied and with happy faces is the best part about my job.

“It’s a great way to see the forest.”

Megan said she was pleased she had completed the course.

She said: “It was a great experience and a really fun day out. I would recommend it to anyone.”

Rebecca said: “You need lots of energy to complete the course, but it’s worth it.”

Go Ape is open until the end of November and costs £25 for the over-18s and £20 for children.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More