CHILDREN and those who are young at heart will soon be able to swing from the trees after an adventure park was granted permission to expand.
Jungle Parc UK opened the Adventurer Course in the heart of Lydiard Park last year and the company has now been given the go ahead to provide a more daring aerial trail for adults and children over the age of 10.
The existing aerial trail adventure play area has proved a huge success with 3,000 children visiting between June and November last year.
The latest planning permission has been granted after Jungle Parc UK made alterations to its original plans following concerns raised by a number of heritage groups.
It means the trail will no longer pass over the park’s ‘Avenue’ and obstruct views of Lydiard House. A spokesman for Jungle Parc UK said: “The new extension will broaden our customer base to include a higher and more daring Xplorer Course for adults and children aged from 10. “We believe this new addition will be beneficial, not only the local area but for the south west.
“The family attraction allows everyone to participate in the fresh air and learn more about the local environment, wildlife and more importantly, allows families to have a safe and fun activity they can enjoy together.
“Unlike any other activity it incorporates the skills and discipline of climbing along with the exhilaration of exploring and swinging in the trees.”
The development will consist of 50 platforms constructed around the trees, with each platform connected by a fun activity. It will be constructed in environmentally friendly resources and all constructions will fit in naturally with the tree canopy. The finished result will be camouflaged into the trees.
Following the changes made to the application, it received support from Wiltshire and Swindon Area Ramblers, an arboricultural officer and county archaeologist, but concerns were raised by Natural England and the Friends of Lydiard Park.
On behalf of the Friends, Michael Gray had recommended the plans be refused. He said: “Since the Jungle Parcs Adventure was built last year there has been a decline in the woodland occupied by Jungle Parcs due to tree stress, die back and erosion, which the applicant acknowledges.”
John Stobart, the planning and conservation lead adviser for Natural England, said: “The proposals have the potential to have an adverse impact on bats, a European protected species. In particular the use of platforms in trees that support bat roosts, may cause unacceptable levels of disturbance.”