Happy Birthday To Us!
Where's the banana cake and candles... it's our birthday!
This Easter Saturday (26th), Go Ape turns 14 years' young and we plan to celebrate with lots of monkeying around in the forest. Who's with us?!
There have been one or two obstacles to overcome in building a business around the concept of swinging through trees. It's been quite a journey - we thought you might like to read about our story..
Here's our story one step at a time.
Eureka moment Tris and Becs discover Go Ape concept on holiday in France with six month old baby in tow. Spent a whole day talking to James Comte from Altus who has built all our Go Ape courses to date. Back in the UK a multi-site deal is agreed with the Forestry Commission.
March 26, a special day for us. The first Go Ape Tree Top Adventureopens in Thetford forest. Within a year, 15,500 gorillas and baboons have swung through the trees. Our cabin is five feet tall and all bookings are taken on a mobile phone.
Crunch time with three further courses opening at Moors Valley, Grizedale and Sherwood and no money in the bank. A small loan keeps us afloat and we are amazed to win the NFU Rural Attraction of the Year for 2002.
Go Ape opens at Swinley Forest, Bracknell our first site with a different landowner, the Crown Estate.
Moors Valley wins 'Small Visitor Attraction of the Year' (South West Tourism). Grizedale wins 'Best Tourism Experience' (Cumbria Excellence Awards).
Record-breaking first-year customer numbers for Delamere and Forest of Dean in September customer number 500,000 swings through the trees.
Five more courses, including the first Scottish course with the longest zip line in the UK. Go Ape launches its own magazine, Tribe.
Go Ape now has 17 courses and we celebrated our millionth customer in June. The Chief Gorilla (Tris) is a National Business Awards finalist in the 'Entrepreneur of the Year' category. Go Ape is listed in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.
21 Go Ape Courses including the first franchise site at Woburn Safari Park and the first Go Ape course in Wales.
A further four adventures join the Go Ape family tree; Beecraigs, Pembrey, Coed-y-Brenin and Black Park Country Park. Go Ape branches out into other adventures with our Forest Segway adventure at Thetford Forest.
Two new tree top adventures at Crathes Castle and Itchen Valley Country Park, and our segway adventure lands at Moors Valley Country Park and Swinley Forest, Bracknell. Tree Top Juniorwas launched in October at Moors Valley Country Park - our first adventure for the under 10's.
It's our 10th birthday. Our first tree top adventure lands in the Capital. Sadly, we lost our Beecraigs adventure following extreme storms. A further five segway adventures joined the family, and Tree Top Junior landed in Thetford Forest.
So another busy year. Our Forest Segways were let loose in Grizedale and the Forest of Dean. Our Tree Top Junior adventure landed at Leeds Castle, Alice Holt, Cannock Chase and Bedgebury Forest and we opened another Tree Top Adventure at Tilgate, near Crawley.
We rolled out our Tree Top Junior adventures for Mini Tarzans across the country, including Black Park, Dalby Forest, Grizedale Forest, Sherwood Pines, Delamere Forest and Wyre Forest. We also launched our very first Zip Trek Adventure at Grizedale Forest. We sadly lost our Coed-y-Brenin adventure.
We rolled out another Tree Top Junior for Mini Tarzans at the Forest of Dean. We also launched our very first Tree Top Adventure in central London at Battersea Park - it's a first for any UK city!
it's been a busy few years, now's where is that cake?