First look at new outdoor adventure area coming to Blists Hill

The first CGI image of a new outdoor adventure experience set to open at Blists Hill this summer has been released, after the council gave plans the thumbs-up.

CGI image of a section of the new ‘Madeley Wood Company Outdoor Adventure’ at Blists Hill Victorian Town
CGI image of a section of the new ‘Madeley Wood Company Outdoor Adventure’ at Blists Hill Victorian Town

With children locked down for the best part of a year, bosses at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said the unique outdoor adventure would be the only place for families to be this summer.

Plans approved by Telford & Wrekin Council feature elevated walks above the woodland floor, a log-style basket swing, seesaw and lookout tower with a coal chute slide.

Built among trees and inspired by the area’s rich mining past, the attraction will also feature wheelchair-accessible multi-level themed buildings, immersive play areas and a toddler zone with a faux mine-cart track, play buildings, a slide and miniature zip-line.

A new food and drink kiosk is also planned.

Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust chief executive Nick Ralls said: “We’re so excited to be bringing this landmark project to life, it’s a huge milestone development for us.

“We know this lockdown has been extremely difficult and that families are currently chomping at the bit to get out and about and have adventures, so now seems like the perfect time to give them a little teaser of what we’ll have waiting for them this summer.”

The trust – a registered heritage conservation and education charity which cares for 35 listed buildings and structures in the Gorge – has called the experience the ‘Madeley Wood Company Outdoor Adventure’, after the Madeley Wood Company that historically ran mine operations on the site.

Delighted

“Here at the trust, we do everything we can to bring our proud local history to life for our visitors – and the new playground is another fantastic way for us to do this,” said Mr Ralls.

“I’m delighted the scheme has now been approved by the local planning authority and we can make a start on the next phase.

"Our museums might have been closed due to lockdown, but hopefully this project will show that we’ve been working relentlessly behind the scenes.

“We’ve got lots more exciting plans to put into place too, so when we’re finally able to welcome visitors back, they’ll have lots of reasons to want to return again and again.”

The play area has been designed by Creating Adventurous Places (CAP.Co), which is creating a similar playground on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate and specialises in the design and build of immersive, imaginative, narrative-led bespoke adventure play.

Mr Ralls added: “We’re thrilled to be working with such a highly-respected partner as CAP.Co on the project.

"They are the best in their field and thanks to their planned prestigious Sandringham adventure playground on the Queen’s estate, it seems they also have the Royal seal of approval too.”

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