An outdoor activity business in the Faughan Valley, Co Londonderry, has increased visitor numbers by 50 per cent in the last year thanks to grants totalling £97,000 from the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership.
The grants awarded under its Rural Business Investment Scheme were used to install adrenaline fuelled ‘zip trek’, the first of its kind in Ireland and ‘tree trek adventure’ courses.
These are the newest offerings at Oakfire Adventures, built in the historic Oaks Demesne, which has been the home of the Allen family since 1921.
Richard Allen said: “We have four ziplines crossing the valley which range from 235 metres to 550 metres, and they’re specially designed to run incredibly quietly and smoothly in order to reduce the noise impact in what is a key conservation area for the North West.
“The tree trek course consists of high rope tasks and challenges such as intricate crossings, wobbly bridges and brilliant zip line finales integrated within the woodland and rugged cliff edges of the Faughan Valley.
“They are inclusive and exciting activities which are attractive to tourists, family groups, community groups and schools, and it is bringing tourists to the Faughan Valley from very far afield.
“They would not have become possible without the support of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership.”