Saturday, July 19, 2014
Bewilderwood’s a-maze-ing new attraction could leave you lost for words...or simply lost.
For Tom Blofeld, creator of the treehouse adventure park at Horning, has taken the old-fashioned idea of a maze and made it three-dimensional.
The devilish design of the giant Sky Maze means that you can get lost at every level on your way up to the Crow’s Nest at the top, which is your only means of escape.
And along the way you will be introduced to new characters such as the colourful Parasquawk birds and evidence of their presence in bright feathers, “highly prized by the marsh-dwelling boggles”, according to well-known children’s author Mr Blofeld whose books tell the story of the Broadland park.
The Sky Maze is being tested by invited guests, including season-ticket holders today, and will be formally launched next Saturday.
Mr Blofeld said: “It takes people up to 15 minutes to get to the top - even the builders have occasionally got lost!
“It has been built from sustainable wood, mostly pine. Because the work has been carried out by our in-house team we have managed to reduce the cost, but it represents a £375,000 attraction.
“This is a real maze and I want people to know something unbelievably cool has arrived on the park.
“It increases dwell time considerably and makes us a genuine day-long attraction.”
He said he had developed the concept and the design was turned into reality by Jim Wales from their in-house team.
Early visitors to the maze would be presented with a special Bewilderwood book of mazes.
Mr Blofeld said the Sky Maze would add two jobs to the park and he hoped this year’s attendance would show a 10 to 15pc increase on last year’s 138,000.
“In 2011, our fourth year, we attracted 167,000 visitors but the weather was absolutely perfect that summer,” he said.
Mr Blofeld said visitors this summer would find a lot more theming on the park around such favourite characters as Boggles and Twiggles and puppets had been brought in for the first time; they had also enhanced their programme of special events.
He said: “Next year we are looking at introducing a covered play area and, in the longer term, I am still keen to bring in a colourful train on the site. We’ll probably progress it by building the station over the winter.”
The £1m outlay on the train project had to be put on hold as Mr Blofeld progressed plans for a second Bewilderwood at Tatton Park in Cheshire.
He said: “The good news is that the secretary of state has now given final approval for that project and we hope to have it opened for May 2016.”
Mr Blofeld said a new Bewilderwood book was ready for publication and his ultimate ambition was to see the storyline turned into a script for television.