Zip World has revealed plans to build a new 400-meter (1,312-foot) “zip rail” through the trees at Tamar Trails at Gulworthy, which is part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. The property currently has 25 km (15 miles) of walking trails as well as mountain biking trails and the Tree Surfers high ropes park, which the new zip rail coaster would be located near.
The proposed £2 million ($2.43 million) project comes a year after Zip World withdrew its plans to build an alpine coaster in the same area amid public opposition, according to a report by Radio Exe Devon. The alpine coaster would have required removal of about 300 trees, and locals were concerned about noise and aesthetics, in addition to the environmental impact.
Plans for the zip rail call for the removal of only 36 trees, and the company will plant additional native species to improve biodiversity.
In addition, Zip World would add nearly 100 parking spaces and create six full-time equivalent jobs.
According to the Radio Exe Devon report, Heritage consultant for the project Rob Kinchin-Smith said Zip World has a good track record of working in environmentally sensitive areas of the country—it operates several other attractions in the UK, including in national parks—but it will be up to local officials to determine if the project is right for the area.
“There will be a limited amount of thinning of plantation trees, and the rails will be under the canopy of the trees so will not be visible from a distance,” said Kinchin-Smith. “Much of the ecology is on the woodland floor and any loss of ecology will be negligible.” And the installation of new interpretation boards would better inform visitors about the site’s mining heritage.
Zip World will submit a new planning application to the West Devon Borough Council later in the fall.