Out There column

Ingrid at the nets park.
Ingrid at the nets park.
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Boing, boing, boing. I’ve just been bouncing around in the tree canopy of a Cumbrian wood.

But why, you may well ask.

One of my great loves in life is exploring woodlands, so when the opportunity to try out a new treetop attraction presented itself, I literally jumped at the chance.

Treetop Nets at Brockhole in the Lake District is Britain’s first nets adventure park.

The nets park opened a few weeks ago at the popular Lake District Visitor Centre on the shores of Windermere and I was truly amazed by it. I went there with my husband Mark, who is a big kid at heart. He couldn’t wait to try out the 1,500 square metres park which features giant trampolines, walkways, slides and tunnels entirely made of sturdy nets.

When we arrived at Brockhole I was completely captivated by the sight of the colourful nets high up in the trees. The vast hand-made structure looked beautiful; a real one-off. The only stumbling block was that I was afraid of heights. Friendly staff gave us safety advice and explained that harnesses were not needed as the treetop structure was completely surrounded by nets.

Quaking like the proverbial leaf, I was ushered to a net walkway by Mark. Fearless children ran up the walkway, but I stepped gingerly towards the treetops.

Mark was already bouncing around with a large yellow ball when I crawled onto the highest net. After a couple of minutes, excitement took over and I was bounding around with everyone else. Adults and children were whizzing down net slides, playing ‘football’ with huge balls and having a great laugh.

Comedian Peter Kay was the first to try the park out with his family and he loved it too.

The nets park at Brockhole is one of only 16 worldwide. It has been constructed by a small group of French sailors and fishermen; the only people in the world skilled enough to make and install the nets.

Cedric Chauvaud and his team sewed (or lashed), the whole adventure park together using fishing needles. It took approximately 3,000 hours to sew together the 1km of netting. It’s a structure that has to be seen to be believed.