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Go Ape Planning Application for New Whinlatter Adventures

Go Ape have submitted a planning application for two exciting developments within Whinlatter Forest. Having recently invested in our new Treetop Adventure and Treetop Adventure Plus courses in Whinlatter Forests, we  are looking to further expand our offering with even more adventures. These include a new Treetop Challenge course as well as a brand-new exclusive zip wire experience, consisting of two new long zip wires against the backdrop of the forest.

Go Ape are continuing to develop their activity offerings in the Lake District, supporting the sustained success of Whinlatter Forest and a prosperous post-Covid19 visitor economy. Reports produced show that Whinlatter Forest is a desirable location for these recreational developments. The proposals will create new jobs and support the wider visitor economy through attracting younger audiences.

This planning application is being submitted by Go Ape who are a tenant of Forestry England at Whinlatter Forest.

Plans for these proposed developments can be found on the LDNPA web page under: 7/2023/2048 

Traffic Generation and Parking

A Transport Statement has been commissioned and carried out by Via Solutions. The outcome of their examination of traffic generation and parking is that both proposals will have a very low impact. The proposed activities will be booked in advance and so any traffic generated will be spread throughout the day. There is likely to be an additional traffic generation of one vehicle at Braithwaite every eight minutes during peak times of the year and this is considered minimal. We are exploring ways to support the local transport network.

The effect of the proposals was assessed in 15-minute blocks across each season in the year. It was found that car parking capacity (218 out of 220 spaces) was only reached for one 15-minute period over the August bank holiday, a day which is significantly busier than any other of the year. This can be considered acceptable in terms of utilising existing car parking capacity.

Impact on Existing Users

Whinlatter Forest is dedicated as Open access land under the Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000 and public access will be maintained. The proposals will not impact on the Rights of Way network within Whinlatter Forest.

Noise Generated

A noise study conducted by DKN Acoustics was carried out in August 2022. The assessment was undertaken at an off-site at “The Cottage in the Wood” (a Noise Sensitive Receptor (NSR) location). The study assessed the impact of participant and mechanical noise at this location, which is approximately 240m to the east of the closest section of the proposed zip wires.

A background noise survey was undertaken at the nearest NSR to establish pre-existing noise levels which included road traffic and park visitors. A noise impact assessment has been carried out comparing the predicted noise level from the proposed site with the pre-existing level at the closest NSR.  The loudest predicted noise level from the proposed site when at capacity is lower than the pre-existing noise level. This would lead to an insignificant increase in the existing ambient noise level, which is below the minimum perceptible change in noise level.

The noise impact assessment concluded that there will be minor impact, even when the course is at capacity. This is not expected to be a regular occurrence and will most likely occur during the Easter and Summer holidays.


Two Preliminary Ecology Assessments revealed that there will be no impact on protected species. They also suggested that ecological enhancements committed to by Go Ape will be beneficial including: the addition of a total of 21 bird and 11 bat boxes.

Nutrient Neutrality

Natural England requires that developments within the River Derwent and Bassenthwaite Lake Special Area of Conservation should achieve nutrient neutrality. The impact statement indicates that the existing sewage treatment facilities at Whinlatter are adequate (suitable) and that the proposal will not add extra nutrients to the catchment.


A comprehensive Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment has been produced by Rural Solutions. They considered the impact of the proposals on the local landscape and on the special qualities of the National Park and World Heritage Site. It was concluded that the site can successfully accommodate the Proposed Development, both in landscape and visual terms, without having an overall unacceptable effect or loss of landscape character or visual amenity. 

Given the focus of the area for recreational activities and tourism, the proposed development will not appear incongruous within the recreational offer within Whinlatter and will complement the range of activities on offer against a forest backdrop. Therefore, this would not significantly alter the local character or diminish the existing enjoyment levels of the wider landscape setting. 

Aircraft safety

When consulted prior to submission of the planning application, the Ministry of Defence responded that they have no issues with the proposals.

For further information please contact: [email protected]

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