PHOTO GALLERY: Banham Zoo launches high wire thrills

Those with a dare-devil streak can test their nerve on a new high wire adventure course now open at Banham Zoo.

SkyTrek, which sits next door to the zoo's Giraffe House and Zarafa Heights Walkway, encourages adventurous visitors to embrace their inner-Tarzan by tackling a series of lofty rope bridges and tight rope walks before ending with a speedy zip wire back down to earth.

The zoo has opened the new attraction in partnership with Excel Adventure – a Banham-based company which specialises in designing and constructing challenging courses.

Martin Dupee, head of operations at Banham Zoo, said it was an 'exciting' new venture for the animal park which complements its existing children's outdoor adventure playground.

'It's an additional attraction to the zoo which gives visitors something different while they're here,' he said.

'For the more adventurous it's certainly an activity that will get the adrenalin pumping for sure. We have the Zarafa Heights and the giraffes next door and this will give you a chance to be at a height like the giraffes.'

SkyTrek, which cost about �80,000, has been constructed in a former horse paddock. It took about 10 weeks to put together and has created an additional 10 jobs at the zoo.

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Brave visitors can try out the course daily from May to September, although it may be forced to close in cases of extreme weather.

It is open to those over the age of six, with the consent of an adult, and takes on average about 20 minutes to complete.

SkyTrek is approved by the Association for Challenge Course Technology and uses a new system which means users are strapped on to a safety wire at all times.

Alistair Ladds, managing director of Excel Adventure, said: 'I am every excited to be working with Banham Zoo – not only can you get to see the giraffes at the Zarafa Heights walkway, you can also get a giraffe's eye view of the zoo.

'It's a chance for zoo visitors to face a challenge and get a taste of outdoor adventure.'

SkyTrek costs �7 for adults or �6 for children aged six to 15. For details, visit www.banhamzoo.co.uk

stephanie.brooks@archant.co.uk

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