First birthday for Via Ferrata

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The first of its kind in the south of England, Via Ferrata Cornwall is celebrating a slew of achievements as it marks its first anniversary this month.

Launched during the pandemic as the south west’s “ultimate high-wire and climbing centre”, the Penryn-based facility enables participants to have fun, conquer fears and push their limits in a outdoors setting around a former quarry.

Whilst enabling nearly 7,000 visitors to do just that in its first 12 months of operation, Via Ferrata Cornwall has raised vital money for parent company BF Adventure, a charity providing critical support to Cornwall’s most vulnerable children and young people in need.

The fledgling business has also managed to notch up several awards, including being named Experience of the Year in the i newspaper’s National itravel Staycation Awards.

“Building a brand-new adventure course was always going to be a challenge, but particularly in the middle of a pandemic,” said Adrian Richards, CEO of BF Adventure. “We had months of landscaping, drilling and hanging off cliff edges to create the routes. With hundreds of metal rungs built into the rock, a 70m long high wire bridge and a zip wire stretching over the water, this was no mean feat.

“Doing this in an ex-quarry was, and is, a first in the UK, but the staff at BF Adventure were up for this exciting challenge. Since we opened last July, we’ve welcomed 6,841 visitors including families, groups of friends, companies, school and youth groups and disadvantaged young people.

“I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved.”

New for this year, Via Ferrata Cornwall has expanded the activities on offer to include coasteering (in the quarry), climbing, archery and water sports (stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing). There are also plans for a wild play area for children and nature trails in partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust.