Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tree-mendous reads

The Lorax Trees

Did you know that a large tree can produce enough oxygen in one day for four people? Pretty cool, huh?

We’ve got a lot to thank our leafy friends for. They’re essentially the earth’s lungs, absorbing CO² and potentially harmful gases and releasing fresh, pure oxygen. They provide food, shelter and habitat for endless species of wildlife. They also provide us with shelter; a place to escape and seek sanctuary. And for Go Ape, well, trees are our lifeline – thanks to trees, we’re able to construct sky-high obstacle courses for you all to enjoy. We simply wouldn’t exist without them!

It’s because of trees that we’re also able to enjoy reading a book – to hold a story in our hands, to turn the pages and smell that new-book-smell (just us!?). In fact, why don’t you let your next book be a book about trees? Here’s a list of some our favourite tree-mendous reads for both kids and adults:

For kids:

Little Tree – Jenny Bowers

This vibrantly-illustrated lift-the-flap book is perfect for teaching little ones about the lifecycle of trees. By lifting the flaps, they’ll see a tiny seed grow into a big pear tree.

The Lorax BookThe Lorax ­– Dr. Seuss

Whimsical wordsmith Dr. Seuss said The Lorax was the best book he wrote. It tells the tale of the Lorax, an eco-warrior who ‘speaks for the trees’ by highlighting the dangers of destroying our forests. The book’s stark message is made accessible to kids through Dr. Seuss’ classic prose: heaps of rhyme, rhythm and repetition, with some zany pictures to match.

Peter’s Tree – Bernadette Watts

Peter’s Tree is a charming book that teaches kids about the different seasons and their effect on the natural world. Peter wants to buy his mum the most beautiful tree in the world, but is let down when his Grandad offers to help and digs up a black stick. But, as the seasons move from one to the next, Peter starts to notice changes in his tree…

For adults:

The Wild Trees ­– Richard Preston

If this book doesn’t leave you itching for adventure, we don’t know what will! Just 20 people on earth have climbed the world’s tallest trees and know where to find them. Author of The Wild Trees, Richard Preston, was lucky enough to not only spend time with this group, but to climb some of these nature’s giants to discover a world way up high that we could only dream of. At times Richard puts his life on the line, all so that he can unearth the real connection between trees, the earth, and the world’s last true explorers.

The Secret Life of Trees BookThe Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter – Colin Tudge

Read alone or read with your little ones to help them gain an understanding of just how important trees are to the world. This book is a true celebration of trees; the author Colin Tudge embarks on a trip around the world to explore all the different varieties, writing with passion about their beauty and what makes them so unique.

The Life and Love of Trees – Lewis Blackwell

One for the picture-lovers, The Life and Love of Trees compiles stories of forests and trees from all over the world. The photographs are truly awe-inspiring, taken by some of the world’s most famous nature photographers.

Do you have any recommendations for tree-mendous reads? Let us know!

Behind forest doors…

About Go Ape

When you’re wobbling across bridges, leaping off platforms and whizzing down zip wires at Go Ape, do you ever wonder just what goes on behind our forest doors?

As you may know, this year we celebrated our 14th birthday. It’s been a roller-coaster ride of adventure and we’ve relished every day, hour, minute and second. Time has flown by – it doesn’t seem that long ago when we were celebrating the opening of our very first Tree Top Adventure in Thetford forest. And now there are Go Ape adventures across the UK and we’ve taken our monkey business stateside!

Our business has grown quicker than we could have ever imagined but through it all, our vision, values and mission have all remained the same. And we believe that’s what’s made us the successful company we are today.

The way we work

We’d be nothing without our hard-working, dedicated tribe. From front-line forest folk to our busy gorillas in Banana HQ, we make sure all our employees enjoy worthwhile and rewarding careers with us. Our tribe share our vision and values – they play a core part in how our tribe carry out their jobs.

So, what is our vision, we hear you ask? Well, it’s simple: to create adventure and encourage people to live life adventurously! This has been our motto from day dot; it was Tris and Becs’ reason for launching Go Ape.

Of course, we’ve got to practice what we preach! But our tribe don’t really need much persuasion to be adventurous. Aside from swinging from tree to tree, our tribe hike, run, cycle, mountain bike, sail, climb, dive…the list goes on. Pretty much any sport or recreational activity you can think of, it’s covered by one of our tribe – we even have a pro roller derby player in our corporate events team!

Our tribe always rises to the challenge of a new adventure, too.

For example, five of the team are currently undertaking gruelling training for the 3 Peaks Yacht Race. As tough as it is long, the 3PYR involves 389 miles of sailing, 72 miles of running and 18 miles of cycling. Suffice to say, it takes a lot more dedication than a bi-weekly trip to the gym. In fact, here’s our Managing Director, Jerome Mayhew rowing a yacht – that’s some power:

We believe that being adventurous inspires others to be adventurous, too. Besides laughter, it’s the only thing we don’t mind being contagious! When people’s eyes are opened to adventure – be it through experiencing Go Ape or by hearing about someone else’s experiences – they feel inspired to get out there and live their lives more adventurously!

Nowadays, too much time is spent indoors watching TV, playing on games consoles and scrolling through social media. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored and discovered – and we don’t want anyone to waste that opportunity! It’s a given fact: the great outdoors is where the best memories are made.

By living life adventurously, people get to uncover what they are truly capable of.

You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve and the confidence you’ll gain will fuel the fire in your belly to make every day a new adventure.

Doing the right thing is really important to us and we aim to make sure we continue to be socially and environmentally responsible in everything we do. Our goal in the long run? To get everyone swinging from the trees. And if we don’t achieve that, we at least hope to be the best adventure company on the planet!

Build their confidence with Tree Top Junior

High Ropes for Kids

No one loves adventure more than kids, which is why we created a unique Go Ape course just for them (besides, it’s not fair for the adults to have all the fun!).

A Tree Top Junior Adventure involves up to 60 minutes of canopy exploring, where kids get to take on a range of tree-mendous obstacles. They’ll wobble across bridges, clamber across nets, crawl through tunnels and finish on a high with an awesome zip wire!

Our tree-top adventures are great fun (if we do say so ourselves) but that’s not all. For kids, rising – quite literally – to the challenge of a slightly scary sky-high obstacle course is great for building their confidence.

Clambering up into the trees is no easy feat – and it always feels higher when you’re at the top. If your little one has never swung with us before, they’re likely to react in one of three ways upon first laying their eyes on the course: they’ll gulp, gasp, or shout out an elongated “aweessooommee!”

The Go Ape tribe have heard a lot of gulps and gasps in the past, from kids and adults alike. That’s why we’ve become expertly trained at supporting people with nervous dispositions and helping them to conquer their fear of heights once and for all.

Kids Tree Top Junior CourseIt’s perfectly normal for your kid’s legs to wobble as they make their way up the first ladder.

They might even turn around and give you the “I-don’t-know-if-I-want-to-do-this” face. But it’s important to encourage them to keep climbing; to tell them that they’ll love it when they reach the top and start tackling the obstacles. You need to give them the push they need (in a figurative sense, of course!).

We find that even the bordering-on-no-way kids enjoy themselves once they’re up in the trees. Once they start swinging on stirrups and practising their tightrope skills, all of a sudden their inner Tarzans will be unleashed and they’ll start embracing the fact they’re way up high! Life on solid ground? Boring!

The truth is, kids who feel a little nervous to start with often feel a greater sense of achievement after completing the course.

They are often the ones that, after landing in a soft pile of woodchip after whizzing down the final zip, turn to their mum, dad or grandparent and say, “When can we come again?!”

A Tree Top Junior Adventure will help build your kid’s confidence, but not just in terms of feeling comfortable with heights. Confidence is transferable, meaning if they build confidence on our obstacle course, it’ll help them to feel more confident in other life situations. It might give them the encouragement they need to audition for the lead role in the school play, to join the local football team, or to take up piano lessons. It’s all about helping your little one adopt a ‘can do’ attitude – which, let’s admit, is important no matter how old you are!

Happiness, shock and relief as I crossed the line


When I was younger, I used to believe that the only reason to run was if you were being chased by a large bear or something. I would see people running and think they were either a little bit crazy, or incredibly fit, However 2 years ago I entered a 5km fun run with some friends and it changed my outlook on running completely. From running around a course in the dark, dressed head to toe in neon and glowsticks I felt such a buzz and my thoughts changed to – This is amazing, I need to start running!!

Slow start

To start with I was slow and could not run far at all before needing to stop, red faced and out of breath. I continued to go out on the occasional run slowly getting fitter and able to run much further than when I’d first started. Even stranger I found that I had actually started to enjoy it more and more! Then last year in an attempt to push myself more and to help raise money for The Outward Bound Trust I entered and completed two half marathons and managed to raise a few hundred pounds in the process! These were an incredible achievement for myself and made me think If I could do those what else was I capable of doing. The next step I decided was to sign up for a marathon. Something that I had always thought would be an amazing achievement but never in a million years believed it would be something I would be capable of doing.

Heading to Manchester

The Manchester Marathon, advertised itself as the flattest, fastest and friendliest marathon and a great one for first timers to do. This was the one for me! I started out trying to follow training plans but found I could not stick to them so instead I just went out either on my own or with friends and did a variety of road and trail running for my training. I’ll admit there were many cold wet dark nights where I should’ve gone out but decided to stay inside by the nice warm fire instead and as a result did not do anywhere near the amount of training I should’ve done. I did learn one key thing though that I realised on the day around mile 21 – Its amazing what the body can do, when the mind really pushes it!!

The day of the marathon came around a lot quicker than I liked and before I knew it I was stood at the start line with my fellow Buxtoner Rob and thousands of other people, feeling both excited and nervous and thinking ‘Lets do this!!’

Let’s do this!

For the first half of the course I actually found myself having fun, I was loving it! The atmosphere and support from the marshals and the crowd was incredible! People of all ages were giving out high 5s, sweets even jaffa cakes and cheering you on, which really gave you a boost.

Until mile 16 I was really enjoying myself. At mile 17 however I found myself for the first time experiencing the dreaded wall! By this point i was physically exhausted! I knew I had to keep going, constantly telling myself every appropriate motivational quote I could think of. Somehow this seemed to work even if the mile markers seemed to be getting further and further apart.

By mile 23 though I knew I was nearly there and I pushed on. Towards the last mile I ran up and over a bridge, around a corner and the finish was in sight far in the distance,

The last mile…

I hobbled the last mile, my legs and feet now rather sore and tired, knowing I couldn’t stop now, especially in front of such a large crowd, I ran through the finish line at 4hrs 56mins, collected my medal, goodie bag, my new T shirt and felt a strange and overwhelming combination of happiness, shock, relief and in a strange way sadness that it was over, Id just run my first marathon. Im not ashamed to admit that at this point through all these emotions, I burst into tears feeling so proud of myself for achieving something that only a year ago I never imagined I would be able to do.

Living life adventurously

Just goes to show, with a little determination, motivation and a desire to live life adventurously, its amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it! Im already looking at other events to take part in but for now I’m going to enjoy a nice rest! Thank you to Go Ape Adventure Fund for funding my entry and to my friends, family and to my Buxton tribe for all their support and encouragement! I couldn’t have done it without it! 🙂

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