Last weekend we held our first BIG Challenge weekend, a family event organised jointly by D3, who are based nearby, and our office. The aim was to attract family teams to participate and compete in various activities around the castle grounds. Luckily, the weather was quite good, if a bit cool, and we had almost 3,000 visitors over two days.

Teams had the chance to face an orienteering challenge, try a mountain bike course, climb high ladders, participate in archery and riding and descend the 250 metre zip wire from the top of one of the towers across the lake. The last activity, on a wire rope with a 20 ton breaking strain (we are told) was quickly sold out as it is great fun and only requires the participant to climb up a ladder to reach the top of the tower, with a narrow hatch acting as a tactful selector for those the right size to go on the wire.

My 4 year-old daughter loved the riding and the climbing ladder, which was a home-made affair made out of tree trunks and branches roped onto them to form the rungs. They looked like medieval assault ladders, to lead an attack from the Lower to Upper Terrace, and worked well, even if climbers had to wear hard hats and be attached to safety ropes. But that may be why there were no injuries during the event, and everyone seemed to have a good time. I hope we can do it again next year. JH-B 3/06/10

Outside a company part of D3 have based part of their business at the old stables here for the last 3 years.  They are a leading agency supplying brand experiences, adventure-based events, product launches and vehicle demonstration courses.  They work regularly with Land Rover at Eastnor and elsewhere, and were involved in the new Defender launch here in 2007 and ran the UK selections for the Land Rover G4 Challenge.

Outside have set up a series of team building activities in the grounds and, as the images below show, they use the castle for abseiling and a spectacular zip wire ride across the lake.  Companies coming here for corporate training days or off-site meetings can now add an interesting new activity to their programmes.

Most of the castle team, voluntarily of course, have tried the zip wire across the lake.  I certainly enjoyed it myself and might even have been tempted to try dropping off into the lake half way across if I had not been thoroughly secured to the wire by a harness.  The zip wire and abseiling are popular as sponsored activities for fund raising for charity.       J H-B