A £5m woodland adventure park designed to encourage children and their families to enjoy imaginative and healthy outdoor play launches in Cheshire this summer.
BeWILDerwood is the very antithesis of the modern theme park. There are no noisy rides, no electronics and no junk food either. Instead, designed in keeping with its natural surroundings, BeWILDerwood is a wild and imaginative adventure park with magical treehouses and a cast of intriguing characters.
The concept was developed by author Tom Blofeld, who created the magical world of BeWILDerwood when narrating stories to his son Rufus. The first book in the BeWILDerwood series - A Boggle at BeWILDerwood - was published in 2007 and charts the adventures of Swamy, a young Marsh Boggle and the characters he meets along the way.
That same year, the first BeWILDerwood adventure park launched on Blofeld’s family estate in Norfolk. Themed around the book, the park is aimed primarily for children aged two to 12 years old and is designed to allow families to experience real play, in a natural environment, while exploring the magical land where the Boggles and Twiggles live.The BeWILDerwood Norfolk site has won a host of awards and now, 13 years since its launch, a second site is set to open in Cheshire. Three years in the making, BeWILDerwood Cheshire is located next to the Cholmondeley Estate in South Cheshire.
The new 70-acre park expects to welcome around 300,000 visitors into the Cheshire countryside each year, and has been welcomed by local planning groups to support the local economy and tourism; as well as a celebration of the unique mosses and meres of the woodland.
As Katrina Michel, former CEO of Marketing Cheshire noted “A critical factor in rural tourism is ‘distinctiveness’ and BeWILDerwood offers something genuinely different – a healthy outdoor experience for young children and families which fires the imagination and allows children to run free and enjoy nature as well as becoming involved in a compelling story.”The park will feature treehouses, zip wires, aerial ropewalks, climbing walls, balancing logs, more than 10 giant wooden play structures and mazes, including the Sky Maze, which reaches eight metres into the treetops.
The park will feature treehouses, zip wires, aerial ropewalks, climbing walls, balancing logs, more than 10 giant wooden play structures and mazes, including the Sky Maze, which reaches eight metres into the treetops.In addition to healthy food and beverage options, the attraction will also offer a range of free activities such as face painting, storytelling, and arts & crafts.“Somehow, without realising it, we made something that is probably the best in the world in its category. Of course, it’s not a huge category, but it’s still the best,” said Tom Blofeld, BeWILDerwood creator and author.“From the beginning, we set out to be different to theme parks and be a smaller, more authentic and intimate experience and as it shows in our reviews, our visitors feel a real sense of ownership of the park because they have the chance to experience real play in nature. We continue to nurture a creative spirit which encourages children to explore and develop their own love of nature and sense of independence.”