Frequently Asked Questions

RULES and FAQ’s

If you have booked you will have ticked a box that says you have read and agreed to our Rules and FAQ’s section ie everything below…so please read on so you come prepared and turn a good day into a great one.

What are your age, height and weight restrictions?

Ok…the question we get asked the most and sadly no…1.39m is not 1.40m.

Junior course: Min age 6 yrs old AND min height 1.10m (yes both) and yes parents can go up with them.
Adult course: Min age 10 yrs old AND min height 1.40m (yes both).

Maximum weight limit is 18 stone, in addition should someone not fit into our sit harnesses then they will not be able to access the course.

Do I need to go up with the kids? If I don’t does it look like I don’t love them?

You don’t need to go up with the kids BUT it is impossible to overtake on the Junior course, so it is very important that if you think anyone in your group will struggle then an adult is available to go up with them. If one person stops then everyone stops and this can cause hold ups. Having a parent helping them along up in the trees will prevent this. Please note that our instructors are not there to take individual kids around the course, this must be done by the adults present. If you are bringing a group of ten kids then you also should have three adults on hand just in case help is required. If help is required then the adult will have to pay as per any other customer.

Anyone that brings their kids to Treerunners clearly loves them, except those that bring their kids knowing that they are scared of heights and then don’t go up and help them.

How long does it take?

For the Junior course we will need the harnesses handed back to reception no later than 90 minutes after your start time.

For the Adult course we will need the harnesses handed back to reception no later than 2.5 hours after your start time.

The training is part of the above timings.

Customers will not be allowed to start a run unless they can finish it within the allotted time.

Some of our courses are very long so you can expect to complete two courses in a day. If you are lucky maybe three.

When should we arrive for our booking?

You need to arrive 15 minutes before your allotted time. For example if you have booked for 11am you need to arrive at 10.45am as it always takes at least ten minutes for everyone to all go to the loo, snapchat, sign disclaimers and harness up. The training is included in your allotted time. If you miss the training then you will not be able to access the course so please please please make sure you arrive early. We are nice people but we have to be strict otherwise it spoils it for those that have arrived on time and are ready to go.

I want to come today but I haven’t booked? How do I pay?

The booking system closes at midnight the night before, so if you haven’t booked and you want to come today then you must phone 07775 775 688 so we can tell you the best time to come. If it goes to voicemail, it is engaged, please do not leave a message, instead simply try again later. Do not send an email as we won’t get it until the evening. Please note that we do not reserve harnesses if you phone in. On the day we work on a first come first served basis, so though we can tell you the best time to come, it may fill up before you arrive. Though this is unlikely, it can happen so do please book the day before. Re payment, we are in the middle of a forest and card machines do not work here so please bring cash. We do not accept cheques, IOU’s or sausages as payment (though we have in the past).

Adverse weather conditions

We do NOT close for rain, it simply makes no difference to the experience of the course but we do advise (as below) that you wear waterproofs. Please note this does not mean parents come dressed for climbing Everest then sit on our sofas drinking coffee while the kids are sent up in t-shirts. The kids need waterproofs too! To be honest kids, once up in the trees don’t mind a bit of rain, plus it’s unlikely to be super busy so a good time to come.

It is possible that we might have to close for high winds. This is rare but can happen. Due to the inaccuracies of the local weather forecast, we can only make the decision to close the course on the day. It is therefore very important to phone in before you arrive (07775 775 688) to find out if we are intending to close the course. Please note that it is your responsibility to phone us. We have tried to call customers before but our calls always seem to ring through (maybe because we come up as an unknown number?) So the most effective way of communication is for you to call us before you jump in the car.

If we do have to close the course because of the wind then we will reschedule your booking to another day.

What do we need to wear?

THE RAIN
Once, this little island of ours ruled the world and it wasn’t even that long ago. Our Empire shaped the world we live in today. It was built because we produced great leaders, pioneers, explorers and adventurers. We were tough, we were strong and nothing stood in our way…No mountain too high, no sea to big, no distance too far. So let’s all unite and teach the youth of today the Dunkirk spirit. Livingstone, Shackleton or Columbus didn’t stay at home because it started raining, so tell your kids to put some waterproofs on. This is England, rain doesn’t stop play.

THE SUN
On sunny days, if you want to wear shorts and t shirts go for it but no open toed shoes. We would strongly suggest no exposed mid-rifs otherwise the harness might rub the skin above the waist. Don’t panic too much about sun screen and being too hot as the forest is a great place to find shade and some cool.

THE COLD
No gillets please, the harnesses slip off them. Gloves might also be good to keep your hands warm.

I want to book but don’t know the numbers. Can I make a provisional booking?

We don’t take provisional bookings. The only way to book your group in is to click on the ‘book now’ button and pay up front but don’t panic, we do have a refund policy so you can reduce the numbers and get your money back as long as you give us 48 hours notice (see refund policy at bottom of page). To make your life easier we strongly recommend you notify all parents of the 48 hour refund policy so they pay up if their kids don’t show up!

We are a school, what do we need to do to book?

Simply click into the ‘book now’ button and away you go. If you need to book more than 15 then simply book each 15 people every half hour. We can only train that many in one half hour so they will be staggered.

IMPORTANT: Unless requested we do not supply helmets. If you are a school requiring Hampshire County Council approval, when you book, you will need to email ben@treerunners.com stating that helmets will be required (we have a total of 30). If you do not then we will assume you fall outside this ie a private school or are simply not part of HCC and so helmets will not be provided.

How do we get there from Cowdown lane SP11 6LE?

There is a small brown sign from Cowdown lane that directs you through a gate to a farm track. Please note that it takes 8 minutes to drive down the farm track to Treerunners. Please don’t take this as a challenge. Yes you can come down much quicker but we wouldn’t recommend it. There are potholes plus farm vehicles use the track so please KEEP IT SLOW and drive sensibly and not as if you are trying to take off. Harewood Forest is classified as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and is considered a reserve for wild animals so please treat their home with respect.

Are the bears in Harewood Forest dangerous?

Not if you are sensible. Please ensure that you keep your car windows up at all times. If you do see a bear in the car park then we recommend you sit tight and wait for another car to arrive, hopefully they won’t see the bear so when they get out it will go after them, this will present the best opportunity for your family to get to Treerunners safely.

What happens if we miss our training?

What usually happens is that we are told how bad the traffic was. The reality is, if you miss your training we will try and get you onto the next one. If we can’t because it is too busy then I’m afraid you’ve spent lots of money to drive down and then back up a farm track with potholes (see above). It does however have a lovely view of the new solar farm so at least you will be able to see one of Andover’s local attractions before you get home. P.S. If we can put you on a later course your time will start from your booked time. You will not be refunded if we can’t.

Do we need to sign anything?

A disclaimer must be signed on arrival. When reading it, the receptionist will be most grateful if you don’t say ‘Am I signing my life away’.  An adult must sign for anyone under 18 years old. This does not have to be the parent of the child. The adult in charge of the group can sign on behalf of the parent as long as the child has not been abducted.

If my kid struggles and wants to come down do I get my money back? Can I give the harness to someone else?

Look, once again, we are nice people but if a member of your party struggles and wants to come down then I’m afraid you would not get a refund. If you have any concerns then please book a slot with them so you can help them up in the trees or put them on the easier Junior course rather than the Adult course. We have a 48 hour refund policy but cancelling once they have been harnessed, trained and put into the trees then think in terms of walking out of a cinema half-way through a scary film. You could ask for a refund but you wouldn’t expect to get one. We have a strict one harness one person policy. Harnesses are not transferable. If someone wants to come down early, the harness cannot then be handed to someone else.

If someone gets stuck what happens?

People do get stuck and we will try everything we can from the ground to ensure they continue. The safest means of getting down to the ground is to finish the course and not to use rescue equipment.

If you are rescued from the Adult course, there is no going back up, though you can move onto the Junior course if you wish. If you are rescued from the Junior course then you will have to hand in your harness as we nearly always find that sending people back up results in them having to be rescued a second time. Bear in mind that no one can pass while being rescued so it is unfair on the other users if it happens twice. We do not refund if you need rescuing.

Can I leave the forest once I have dropped the kids off?

Still with us? Brilliant. Please keep reading.

Any participants who are under 18 must have a parent/guardian on site at all times. For example you can leave a 17 year old with an 18 year old but not if they are both 17. Any kids left in the forest will be put in lost property.

What happens during training?

This starts on the hour and on every half hour and is part of your allotted time. If we feel that after training someone is unable to do the Adult course then they will be transferred (if space allows) to the Junior course. Please respect that if our instructors make this decision it is because we want the kids to have fun, if they can’t do the ground level training they will not be able to do it 12 metres up in the trees and will get very stuck…this isn’t fun for them or those behind. Please note that being rescued is far more embarrassing than being asked to do the Junior course. Please see the ‘Birthday Party for ten year olds’ section below.

How long is the training? They’ve been before, do they have to do it?

On the Junior course it is very quick but on the Adult course the training can take 20 to 40 minutes or even longer (rarely) if they are struggling. It is dependent on the ability of those doing it. Some people shoot through and will be on the course very quickly, some take a bit longer. We only release people from training when we are confident they will manage up in the trees. Please understand that their time starts once training starts. The end time is not extended if training takes a longer.

We love that people come back, but you always have to do the training even if you did it yesterday.

Long hair

If you have long hair and are going onto the adult course you must tie it back so please make sure you bring a hair tie. Please note that men with long hair should not be expected to be taken seriously.

How difficult is it? Will my child struggle? When’s the best time to come?

The Junior course

We cannot tell you whether your child might struggle as they are your children not ours, but we can tell you that everyday we do have a child or two that do. This is no problem as long as there is a paying adult that can go up into the course and help. We want kids to try things, to meet a challenge, but due to the nature of the ‘Saferoller’ system on the Junior course, if someone stops everyone stops. If we are busy then this can be frustrating for those behind. To avoid any punch-ups between Mums, if you think your child might find it challenging then do please book them on a 9.30am slot when the course is quieter or at least make sure they are NOT at the front of the group to first get on. If you book a late morning/afternoon on a weekend it will no doubt be busy and not the best time to have the little adventurer conquer their fear of heights. If the course is busy and you can’t get the little one round yourself we will have to take them down…nearly always to their relief.

The Adult course

Customers tell us it’s much more challenging than Go Ape! Which is good because it was designed to be. The courses are longer, the obstacles trickier and the platforms smaller. If you think someone will struggle then do please book to go up with them. We obviously want people to test themselves but without an adult to help them we may find it necessary to bring them down. Please note that if anyone needs rescuing they will not be allowed back up into the course. If space allows they may go onto the Junior course for the remainder of their time. We want people to have fun but sometimes being on their own up in the course can be outside their capabilities. We do not refund if someone needs rescuing.

Ten year olds and birthday parties on the adult course.

On average we find that with a group of ten x 10 years olds, two or three will find the Adult course too hard and so will have to be put on the Junior course (if space available). We would therefore recommend that if you have a large group of ten year olds that you book them on the Junior course as more often than not after training we will have to put some of them on this course anyway. This can rather spoil the day for boys this age. If you are happy to risk two of the 10 x ten year old boys being put on the Junior course then please don’t get upset with us if it happens. We will still give them 2.5 hours but you will not be refunded the difference. Girls tend to be much more mature and happily take the easier option.

Can a staff member help my kid around the course?

Though our staff can sometimes intervene and will always look to help, if we are busy they need to be on the ground so that they can monitor key areas such as the access ladders, harnesses, zip lines and be ready for any rescues around the adult course. If they are up in the trees helping little Jimmy the instructor is unable to check more important issues such as ensuring everyone going up a ladder is attached and that their harnesses are properly fitted. Little Jimmy, though he may be crying is perfectly safe, whereas someone accessing any course unattached isn’t. We therefore ask that if a child needs one on one attention then this needs to be a paying adult.

Picnicking/BBQs and rubbish

We don’t have big food just chocolate bars, crisps and hot and cold drinks, all the really bad things which is why I get fatter as the season progresses. If you want to bring a picnic or even a barbecue (we don’t provide them ourselves) please do but there is a sausage tax. If a sausage is not available then we accept a sandwich (preferably M&S or Tesco’s finest) or a slice of birthday cake (please keep the birthday cake to a reasonable standard).

You cannot reserve a table for picnics, but don’t worry we have loads of them.

If you are planning to eat in the forest it is very important that this is done either BEFORE or AFTER your session and NOT half-way through it.

We do ask that if you want to picnic after your booking then please book a slot no later than 2.30pm on the Junior course or 1.30pm on the adult course. Please note that if your booking is the last down on the day then the forest will be closed 30 minutes after your finish time. Sadly as we can’t recycle from the forest, please ensure that ALL rubbish is taken away with you. That includes anything you buy at Treerunners and anything that comes out of your dog. Please don’t bring party poppers, they just scatter paper everywhere and need clearing up. Free bin and Poo bags are available in reception. Re BBQ’s, you can scatter the hot coals on the ground but you will have to take home the BBQ tray. Yes it will most likely be hot, so best to ask one of your children or ideally someone else’s to pick it up first.

WARNING: PICNIC AT YOUR OWN RISK:

There is one dog that does not have to be on a lead as she only chases squirrels (though they barely realise). Many of you will know her as ‘Loopy’ or ‘Lulu’ the Norfolk terrier who wears the ‘DO NOT FEED, I AM FAT’ coat. She likes picnics, really likes them so make sure your picnic is not left unattended otherwise you might find it inside a Norfolk terrier. You have been warned.

How does the Boss at Treerunners get his hair so shiny and manageable?

I wash my hair everyday using a combination of products. I start with ‘Frequent Pine Wash’ from Tesco’s then use fairy liquid, then after a thorough rinse, I apply two free range eggs and some bacon fat. Please note that the smell can make you feel hungry.

Refunds

Refunds can be made by email only and must be received 48 hours before your allotted time. Phoning up does not count. Please email info@treerunners.com attaching your booking form to the email and a brief explanation of what you want done ie a change of time, day or how many you want refunded. Don’t send the invoice back to us without any explanation as we will not know what to do with it. We cannot refund anyone without the booking form attachment. If you ask for a refund after 48 hours then sorry, we are nice people but if we don’t follow through with our policy then it’s unfair on everyone else who have forgone their refund and given us a crap review somewhere, plus if we didn’t have a strict policy, in a year to two it would be chaos and would impact on our ability to operate. If you are organising a large group make sure that all the parents know about the refund policy so if they say yes then change their minds after 48hours they know that they will still have to pay you.

Dogs

A number of dogs have been complaining that their owners have not been picking up their mess. Please make sure your dog doesn’t complain about you. It can be embarrassing for everyone so please pick up and take the poo bag home with you. Free poo bags in reception. Unfortunately as currently so many owners don’t use them or decide to use them as tree decorations on the way back to the car park that we may well decide to not allow dogs. This isn’t fair on the dogs so please comply with the above.

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, we are guests in the forest which we share with pheasant, bears, deer and a game keeper who doesn’t want them scared off. Yes Loopy (Lulu) our Norfolk terrier can be found not on a lead, but she lives here and is known by the gamekeeper and has never caught anything in her life other than a sausage. The other problem is that we have loads of kids here and little friendly fingers that poke unknown dogs are likely to get bitten.

Please don’t leave dogs unattended. If the family is going up into the trees then it is important that someone is on the ground with the dog rather than just leaving the dog tied up. If they are left unattended they do tend to whine which is rather uncool for those trying to chill on our sofas.

Well I think that is most the questions we get, there are others but we thought we’d only post the sensible ones.

‘Hello Treerunners’
‘Oh hello, do you know how long it takes to get to you?’
‘Where are you coming from?’
‘Oh sorry, we’re coming from home.’
‘Yes but where’s home?’
‘Not sure, we’ve moved.

Anon.
21st June 2016.

If you have read to the bottom of our Rules and FAQ’s ie you are reading this, then just tell reception and you will get a free cup of tea or coffee and then be entered into a competition to win a packet of ASDA ready salted crisps.