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Make goes ape in the trees

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Make Architects and Expedition Engineering have produced these plans for a 600m-long walkway in a Norfolk forest.

The £1 million path for adventure company Go Ape will be the largest of its kind in the country if it is approved after its planning submission, scheduled for mid September.

Chris Wise, founding partner of Expedition Engineering, said: 'Throughout the journey you are held safely aloft by a delicate cat's cradle of timber spars and cables, which are virtually invisible against the background of the treescape, giving you the feeling that you are walking through the sky.'

The path will form a 'loop' rising from 15 to 27m above the forest floor, with broad resting places along its length so that teachers can hold impromptu classes.

Steps have been taken to minimise the structure's footprint. Its foundations have been designed to be inhabitable timber cribs - resembling a large stack of blocks like the board game Jenga - to provide a habitat for small forest creatures.

In addition, the scheme has a wind-powered, water-balanced see-saw lift to give disabled people access to the start of the route.

Make partner Matthew White said: 'This terrific project is unique because of Go Ape's insistence upon the provision of access for all to the forest canopy environment. It will create a new benchmark for eco-tourism.'

by Rob Sharp

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