It's the new Lake District tourism experience that lets you sleep...up a tree

The Westmorland Gazette: Deborah Fletcher tries out Canopy Camp Extreme Deborah Fletcher tries out Canopy Camp Extreme

ADVENTUROUS visitors to the Lake District are being given a chance to sleep among the trees.

The National Trust has created ‘Canopy Camp Extreme’ at St Catherine’s Woods off the Patterdale Road towards Troutbeck.

It allows campers to sleep in a hammock 25 feet above the ground with what the Trust says is a ‘view of the stars from their eyrie’.

People even get tuition in tree-climbing with ropes and harnesses and breakfast is delivered by using a pulley to hoist it to their hammock.

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The experience is centred around the Trust’s Footprint building - built in 2006 - and uniquely made of straw bale walls.

And it’s also part of an important programme by the Trust to help people reconnect with nature.

One person who tried the new experience, Deborah Fletcher from Kendal said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect but the time in the hammock was wonderful; it felt like being wrapped in a green blanket of leaves and my senses felt alive to the sounds and sights around me.

“The hammocks felt cosy and safe and waking up in the tree canopy was extraordinary and something I’ll remember for a very long time.”

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Debbie Riviere, manager of Footprint, said: “Waking among the branches has to be experienced to understand the exhilaration and sense of connection to nature. It’s so peaceful, you can hear everything around you with such clarity. In fact, it’s an amazing experience for all of the senses.”

Canopy Camp Extreme is part of the Footprint’s special programme of events.

This includes a ‘little brother’ to the treetop camping - a low level ‘Canopy Camp’ for families which sees hammocks strung near ground level.

There’s also a midweek Canopy camp, a Bushcraft skills club for youngsters aged four to 14, green woodworking courses and much more.

The Trust is offering people the chance to also discover some of the plant, animal, insect and bird life they may meet in the tree tops.

For more info, go to http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ambleside-and-windermere/things-to-see-and-do/footprint

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