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Go Ape nets its millionth customer

For immediate release - June 2 2008

Thanks a Million!
Go Ape meets its millionth customer and gives back…

Go Ape, the award-winning high wire forest adventure company, is celebrating its millionth customer this month by donating £17,000 to local charities and good causes – that’s £1,000 for each of its 17 courses located at forests across the country.

June 15th 2008 sees the millionth customer swing through a forest to experience Go Ape, the outdoor adventure challenge that has become something of a UK phenomenon since its conception in 2002.

To share this significant landmark and support the local communities surrounding each site, all Go Ape courses throughout the country will hold special cheque presentations to valued volunteer groups and community charities, handpicked by Go Ape course teams. Approximate pre-bookings predict that the millionth customer will be in Thetford Forest, where one lucky gorilla and his or her family will receive a surprise welcome, complete with Go Ape gifts and free tickets to take to the treetops for a year.
Established by husband and wife team Tristram and Rebecca Mayhew [pictured], who walked away from comfortable corporate lives to take on the challenge of creating the Go Ape concept, the brand is built on encouraging others to live life more adventurously. Three hundred jobs have been created and the company, which has a turnover in excess of £6 million, is on target to open 40 courses by the year 2012.

As advocates of adventure, Go Ape tackles the risk adverse culture head-on with company values that include social and environmental responsibility together with a mission to challenge, surprise and excite participants. Chief Gorilla, Tristram Mayhew, confirms: “We are committed to doing our bit to keep the ‘adventure’ in adventure, and counter the epidemic of the ‘cotton wool’ culture which concedes to the notion that ‘all risk must be bad’. We believe that zero risk equals zero development, and that responsible risk taking generates important societal benefits, such as building self-confidence and encouraging an ‘I can’ rather than an ‘I can’t’ attitude.”
It is perhaps these values that have amassed a million-strong following – testament indeed of how this company is successfully inspiring our nation to venture into adventure.

Rebecca Mayhew, communications director, says: “We see ourselves as an eco-educational experience in the respect that participants absorb valuable risk assessment and risk management skills, whilst having a naturally thrilling time on an environmentally responsible and sustainable activity.”

Commenting on the current climate, Jerome Mayhew, director of business development and risk management, concludes: “Like any leisure-related industry, we are not complacent about the current economic climate and we are keeping a close eye on trends. However, there are no indications so far that it is anything other than positive as bookings have increased by 16% above our plan for this year.”

In addition to Go Ape’s Thanks a Million campaign, the company has also joined forces with The Prince’s Trust this month to promote its Million Makers; an enterprise challenge that will see corporate teams compete to raise £1 million so that The Trust can support more young entrepreneurs in 2009. Go Ape will be hosting action-packed launch events to help generate camaraderie and build team spirit as they embark on their quest.

Go Ape is also launching six new sites next year; the first at Margam Country Park in Wales will open in March 2009, while plans are already underway for expansion across the water to Ireland.

Go Ape offers physically and mentally challenging fun, laughter and adventure some 40ft above the forest floor. Courses follow an exciting trail made up of a network of various ladders, rope crossings, Tarzan swings and exhilarating zip-wires. Courses are located across the UK:

1. Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire
2. Dalby Forest, N. Yorkshire
3. Sherwood Pines, Notts
4. Thetford Forest, Suffolk
5. Leeds Castle, Kent
6. Bedgebury Forest, Kent
7. Swinley Forest, Bracknell
8. Alice Holt Forest, Surrey
9. Wendover Woodland Park, Bucks.
10. Moors Valley, Dorset
11. Haldon Forest, Devon
12. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.
13. Cannock Forest, Staffordshire.
14. Delamere Forest, Cheshire
15. Buxton, Derbyshire
16. Grizedale Forest, Cumbria
17. Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria


Editor’s notes:

The £17,000 Thanks a Million donation is part of the £40,000 charitable contributions made by Go Ape annually, together with £35,000 worth of free tickets given to local groups and communities across the UK.

Go Ape supports and is a sponsor of the Campaign for Adventure, which seeks to show that life is best approached in a spirit of exploration, adventure and enterprise. Jerome Mayhew is regularly invited as a respected keynote speaker on such subjects.

Charities and volunteer groups that will benefit from Go Ape’s Thanks a Million campaign include:
Acorns Children’s Hospice * Buxton Mountain Rescue Team * Coniston Mountain Rescue Team * Crowthorne Old Age to Teen Society * Demelza House Children’s Hospice * Devon Air Ambulance * East Anglian Air Ambulance * Forest of Dean Children’s Opportunity Centre * Hawkshead First Responders * Keswick Mountain Rescue Team * Ladybirds pre-school * Norley Church of England County Primary School * Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice * Round Table Children’s Wish * Scarborough & District Mountain Rescue Team * Search & Rescue Dog Association * Staffordshire Wildlife Trust * Terry Marsh Wildlife Rescue Centre * The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths * Trossachs Business Partnership.

Minimum age 10 years, minimum height 1.4m (4ft 7in) and maximum weight of 20.5 stone. Under 18 year olds must be accompanied by a participating adult. One adult can supervise either up to two children (where one or both is under 16) or up to five 16-17 year olds.

Prices: Gorillas (18yrs+) £25.00, Baboons (10-17yrs) £20.00

Opening times: 15th March - 31st October inclusive (additional evening slots available May-August). New courses will be closed on Mondays during term time only. Open weekends throughout November. Closed December – January

Booking essential. T 0845 643 2034
For further information, images and press passes or to arrange an interview with the company directors, please contact Semra Hopovac at Honey PR. T: 01223 241770 E: W:

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