Woodland plan for an outdoor activity centre

Fowlers Hill Wood in Cabus has been earmarked for an outdoor activity centre.
Fowlers Hill Wood in Cabus has been earmarked for an outdoor activity centre.

A proposal for an outdoor activity centre to help ex-servicemen has been objected to by Cabus Parish Council.

Charity organisation,Our Local Heroes Foundation (OLHF), has submitted plans to Wyre Council to build an outdoor activity centre complete with a variety of obstacle courses, climbing equipment and a paint balling area.

The proposed centre has been identified to help ex-service men, but is also earmarked for the public including schools, and corporate groups.

If approved, the centre would be built on the woodland site known as Fowlers Hill Wood in Cabus, located off the A6 , and has been championed by the charity, which helps people who are struggling after serving in the armed forces, as a plan that will “secure the long-term maintenance of under-used land, whilst providing opportunities for group and corporate team building exercises”.

However Cabus Parish Council held a meeting last week to air their concerns about the centre, with several neighbouring residents concerned about the noise and access to the woodland, which has two rural path ways, frequently used by walkers and horse riders.

But registered charity OLHF have said that the paint ball guns will be no louder than the shotguns that are currently used on the site, for bird shooting, and the design will have “minimal visual impact” and “no detrimental impact upon the enjoyment of the public rights of way”.

The activity centres business hours would be from 9am to 7pm seven days a week and a mini bus service to and from the centre, including pick ups from Lancaster and Preston train stations would be provided by the charity.

A car park will also be made on the site which will contain two metal cabins, used for office purposes, which will be camouflaged with green army netting to ‘assimilate the units into their rural setting’.

It has also been identified in the application that any equipment fixed to trees, such as the low rope obstacle course and a three meter paint ball netting, which would safeguard the public using the pathways, would only be strapped to trees not bolted. Biodegradable paint balls would also be used.

Roger Brookes Ward Councillor for Cabus said: “The wood has been used and abused for generations by lorry drivers and I think that if it can be tidied up and made to look more attractive that can only be a positive. But I do understand that the people that live nearby will be concerned about the noise. I have spoken to planning officers and they have said that they have issues with the planning application so we will just have to wait and see.”

Furthermore Coun Brookes advised the Cabus action group to oppose the application online and write to Wyre District Council with their concerns. As the Courier went to press residents group CIA were planning meet again to further their campaign.