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Plans submitted for new Northamptonshire high ropes course in beauty spot

A new high ropes course at Salcey Forest is on the horizon, as planning permission for the adventure trail has been submitted to West Northamptonshire Council. Full permission was granted for the new structure in July this year.

The approval was subject to a landscape and ecological management plan (LEMP) which was submitted to the council in October. After the LEMP is approved by ecology and carried out the development can begin.

The plans comprise a Tree Top Adventure and Adventure+ high ropes course as well as a welcome office building. It will be located on an area of unused ground between the existing Salcey Forest visitor centre and the access road to the car park.

The proposed high ropes course will look like existing Go Ape facilities around the UK and will be built within the surrounding trees. It will be made of several loops of crossings, some of which are designed for children and younger users and others which are more physically demanding and only accessible to adults.

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There is a “low loop” that allows the youngest children to play on the course, so long as they are over one metre tall. Under 6-year-olds will have to be accompanied by an adult to use the trail.

Several elements make up the high ropes routes including zip wires, access towers, platforms on trees, timber and wire crossings, and landing zones. Plans propose a ‘baby loop’ which will be only one metre off the ground and four other circuits ranging from 4.8 metres to 7.1 metres off the ground.

The new proposals have come after Salcey Forest, which is one of Northamptonshire’s only remaining ancient woodlands, had to make the difficult decision to remove their popular Tree Top Walkway in September 2022 due to forecast repair costs reaching almost £2 million. The forest is now in a stage of redevelopment and the high ropes will be a much-welcomed new amenity to the site.

If the LEMP is approved by the council development will be able to begin. All works will be carried out by Go Ape in partnership with Forestry England.

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