By Marcus Leach

Go Ape! the forest adventure company founded in 2001 to encourage people of all ages to embrace adventure and the outdoors, has announced a programme of expansion and diversification designed to boost visitor numbers by 20 per cent and place it in a strong position for future growth.

Go Ape! currently operates in 27 locations nationwide, attracting over 520,000 visitors in 2011 with a turnover of £11m. New initiatives for 2012 include upgrades to existing Go Ape! Tree Top Adventure sites and the unveiling of its first London-based course in Trent Park, North London.

The adventure company will also increase the number of popular Go Ape! Forest Segway adventures to a total of eight with the launch of five new sites in the UK. Finally, after the successful trial of Go Ape! Tree Top Junior at Moors Valley Country Park, Bournemouth in 2011, the company will commence plans to expand the junior brand at further sites throughout 2012.

“We are delighted to be entering this period of expansion and growth,” said Jerome Mayhew, managing director at Go Ape. “The last few years have seen a rapid rise in consumer demand for outdoor-based activities and we want to be at the forefront of this. Our business plan is based on our central philosophy that life should be lived adventurously and to the full.

"We believe that fresh air, fun and the freedom that comes from swinging through the trees and exploring the outdoors in unconventional ways is incredibly life-enhancing, no matter what your age or fitness level.

“These plans will help Go Ape! to consolidate its commercial success and establish a solid foundation for future growth, while still remaining true to our small-company approach of passion and innovation.”

Go Ape! was named winner of the Santander ‘Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year Award’ in 2009, qualified as a Sunday Times ‘Fast Track 100’ business in 2010, and was recognised as one of the Sunday Times ‘Best 100 small companies to work for’ in 2011.

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