Blogs > Mark Black > Just Hanging Around!!

Just Hanging Around!!

5th August 2011

This week I spent an afternoon at Beamish wild with Marie Gardiner, it was brilliant, scary...but brilliant. We had been invited down by the manager to sample what it was all about. There is loads to do there but we only had time for a couple of parts, the Birds of prey enclosures and the adventure section.

They have a wide selection of birds of prey, some have been bred in captivity and some have been rescued. They all are beautiful birds and really interesting as well. We both were lucky enough to hold some of the birds which is an odd experience, to be that close to them. The handlers did say something interesting though, that the birds who have been bred in captivity think they are human. They have been hand reared by humans and therefore think that they are human! Marie's favourite was the little owl she got to hold, and I did think we might have to check her jumper when we left just incase!!

We also did the adventure part which was great fun, but very scary in parts. Basically it was a series of rope bridges between trees which got progressively higher until you were 50 foot off the ground. The other thing I should mention is that you are responsible for your own safety! You have two ropes to clip on at each stage which you check and check and check again. At each stage before stepping off I found myself tugging the ropes, just to double check. Marie also did the first section before deciding she didn't want to go any higher, and I did have to give her a little push on the zip wire! It is the weirdest feeling as you know very fine well that you won't fall because you are secured on with not one but two ropes, but still there is that tiny doubt in your mind. Atleast if the instructor had cliped you on you could blame him if you fell, but no, it's all down to you.

Once you have worked your way up to the highest point which is 50ft high you literally jump down to the ground. They have a device which was developed for the military to simulate a parachute jumps. You'll have seen them in movies where they drop from the helicopters on a rope, it was basically that. Once on the ground it was a lot of fun, and I wanted to do it again, it's just the initial step off. You literally step out into nothing. For the first few seconds you are literally falling then the machine kicks in and takes your weight and lowers you to the ground.

All in all it was a fantastic day, and to get to do it as part of my working day was a bonus. Obviously taking Marie along means there is video evidence, and apparently this is the best bit of footage from the day...enjoy!!

 

Posted by Mark Black at 2:18pm

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