New business gets off the ground at Borders estate

A new adventure activity helping people see the Bowhill Estate from a different point of view is set to get off the ground this weekend.

Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 4:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 5:00 pm
Hayley Blackwood, Tim Chamberlain Director of wild tree adventure, Michael Paton, FR: Kathryn Wylie and Carla Sayer.

Wild Tree Adventures, a new business launched by Bowden adventurer Tim Chamberlain this spring will arrive at the estate, near Selkirk, on Saturday.

Business director Tim is branching out on his own, having previously worked as operations manager for the Great Big Tree Climbing Company, the country’s largest recreational tree-climbing firm, and his first session at Bowhill will allow visitors to scale up to 70ft of one of the estate’s 200-year-old oaks.

Carla Sayer and Southern Reporter journalist Kathryn Wylie trial Bowhill's new Wild Tree Adventure climb.

Tim said: “Tree-climbing is a great way to explore the natural world and at the same time get great exercise and bucketfuls of fresh air.

“We’ll be on hand to supply the equipment required and offer expert guidance.

“Eight people can climb at once, and we can have families together or individuals. You don’t have to come with anyone. If you’re a grown-up, you can come on your own and have a great time.

“We are going to be using very safe and secure rope systems and some special knots.

Carla Sayer, Kathryn Wylie, Hayley Blackwood, Michael Paton with instructor Tim Chamberlain.

“We have a hand lock and a foot lock, and we use these to keep everyone safe.

“This activity is available for all people aged six and over, and you don’t have to go at any particular speed.

“You just climb at whatever speed you like, and we will assist you to get as high as you like, or maybe even a bit higher, and then you can sit up there and enjoy the view.”

With a choice of established oaks on the estate, he carefully selected a 200-year-old one for its position and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside from its top.

“We chose this tree after wandering around and looking at some of the special trees at Bowhill,” he added.

“This tree stood out as just an absolutely magnificent specimen.

“It’s got all sorts of big branches that go out to the side which can provide really good attachments points for the climbing lines, but also it’s just got lots of lovely branches to sit on.

“We want to get people high up into the canopy of a fantastic tree. We can get people up about 20 metres in the amazing big oak tree at Bowhill, and it’s a privilege because it’s a tree we would never normally get the chance to climb into.”

Also a qualified zoologist and fine art sculptor, Tim is a self-confessed bird man and has previously worked installing bird boxes around the Bowhill Estate, as well as having counted parrots in the forest islands of north east Bolivia and scaled Scottish sitka to monitor goshawks.

Closer to home, Saturday’s first tree-climbing sessions can accommodate eight people on the hour, each hour.

Rory Powell, countryside learning and engagement ranger at Bowhill, said: “We are very excited to bring something completely different to the Borders.

“Tree-climbing will be a unique way to explore the estate from a different perspective and is sure to offer some spectacular views of the countryside.”

Tree climbing sessions will take place this Saturday, May 5, and again on Saturday, August 11, between 10am and 4pm, costing £20 per session.

For further details, go to