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Outdoor adventure specialist Peak signs deal to reopen Staffs education centre

Please see below for the Staffordshire County Council release about our exciting new centre!


A growing outdoor adventure business has taken on a new site in Staffordshire.

Peak – which is known for delivering family-friendly outdoor activities and tailor-made adventure packages – has added to its national portfolio of activity centres with Chasewater Outdoor Centre in Burntwood.

The Audley-based company has signed a long-term deal with Staffordshire County Council for the four-acre facility, which is complete with dormitories for overnight stays and areas for teaching, dining and storage.

It is due to take over the site this month.

Peak managing director Paul Ball said: “Chasewater Outdoor Centre is a great opportunity for Peak. The new site will work very well with all other aspects of our existing business, and complements the growth of our existing customer base which includes our very own Peak students, students and teachers from local and national schools as well as corporate clients alongside our extensive range of leisure clients.

“The business is all about building a community. We want to work with existing site users, but also help grow participation at the site through holiday clubs, school and youth groups and corporate team building adventures.

“The site will continue to offer a wealth of fun activities such as kayaking, climbing, bush craft, sailing, archery, mountain biking, DofE and more.”

Established over 20 years ago, Peak employs 230 full-time staff across the country.

Its sites include Trentham Treetop Adventures, Audley Climbing Centre and Astbury Water Sports Centre near Congleton as well as the Trafford Watersports Centre and Trafford Treetops Adventures near Manchester and Underbank Activity Centre in Sheffield.

It currently operates across four sectors which includes outdoor adventures – including watersports, land activities and climbing – at seven locations across the UK.

It also provides education at four independent, Ofsted-registered schools where the emphasis is on an ‘adventurous’ curriculum, and is the UK’s largest provider of the expeditions section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

Last year, Peak entered the retail market after it opened its first shop at the Trentham Estate, selling a range of products for keen cyclists and runners including e-bikes, clothing and accessories.

Darryl Eyers, Staffordshire County Council’s director for economy, infrastructure and skills, said: “The outdoor education centre at Chasewater is a great facility for young people to experience new adventures and I’m pleased it’s going to return to regular use.

“I’m also delighted that the new tenant is a Staffordshire-based company with such a strong reputation in this field and that it is committed to working with local groups.”

Driving Home the Road Safety Message for Education and Outdoor Activity Provider.

A Staffordshire company has scooped a major new contract to deliver road safety training for an education and outdoor activity provider’s fleet of drivers.

More than 160 drivers at Peak Education and Peak Activity Services are being trained on an E-learning road safety course developed by Cheadle based Adrian Hide Consultancy.

Audley based Peak have four registered independent day schools in Cannock, Gailey, Stoke-on-Trent and Audley.  Along with six activity watersports and outdoor activity centres in the Cheshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. The company ethos is Education through Adventure. Their drivers transport up to 100 pupils a day to and from the various locations along with towing trailers including 6m mobile climbing walls!

Adrian was commissioned to deliver a customised course to include a personal message from Peak’s Transport Manager, a module specifically for young drivers because of their team’s demographic and downloadable personal action plans and vehicle safety check forms.

Health and Safety Executive and Department of Transport figures show:

  • Nearly three in ten collisions involve a young driver aged 17 to 24.
  • One in five new drivers will have an accident within their first year of driving.
  • More than a quarter of accidents will involve someone driving for work at the time of the incident.

Adrian who has more than thirty years working in road safety and delivering driver risk management services said:  I’m delighted to be working with Peak and providing their road safety training. Although I deliver face to face training as well, they needed something virtual so they could fit it around their working day. I’ve been able to tailor the course to specifically meet their objectives taking into account that many of their drivers are young and that demographic is more likely to be involved in an accident.

Adrian added: “Health and Safety law imposes duty of care responsibilities on employers, to manage work-related risk in all areas of the business, including driving activities. Sometimes employers don’t realise that they have a responsibility to help keep staff safe when they drive as part of their job. Figures show that one in four collisions involve someone driving for work at the time of the accident so you can see how important it is that employers support driver training.”

Peak’s Transport Manager Andy Foster said: “Road safety is of paramount importance to us not just for the students we transport but for our drivers too. I really feel that it’s out duty to ensure our drivers are as skilled as possible. We have a very young workforce and because we know that statistically you’re more likely to have an accident when you’re younger we want to make sure we give our drivers the best training possible.

“I’ve been looking for a virtual course for our staff to go on for a while when I came across Adrian’s work. He has been absolutely fantastic. He designed something specifically for us and nothing has been too much trouble. The feedback we’ve had from the drivers who have already completed the course has been brilliant. They’ve told us they already feel far more aware and are putting into practice the things they’ve learnt. We will carry on working with Adrian to deliver our training and have made his course part of our mandatory training for all new starters.”

Lauryn Winter, 18, Apprentice Inclusive Education Practitioner said: “The course has really opened my eyes. I’m not the most experienced driver yet but I honestly thought I knew what I needed to know to make sure I was as safe as possible. Adrian’s course has really opened my eyes, not only just about safety but about fuel saving and your carbon footprint. I’ve learnt lots and it was enjoyable too.”

For more information, please go to: www.adrianhideconsultancy.co.uk

Peak Expeditions is now virtual!

Over 450,000 DofE participants are not getting pre training due to lockdown! Peak can help with Online DofE Expedition Training.

In these challenging times it is proving difficult to train DofE expedition candidates to prepare them for expeditions later in the year. That’s where Peak can help with one of the countries first online Zoom remote training sessions!

Online Zoom training:

Instead of coming to you we can set up Zoom online training sessions to take your adventurers through the core requirements at a time and date to suit your school. We have developed a series of online resources including all course books and questionnaires with follow-up on-line support sessions to ensure that no content is missed!

Content will include all aspects of the Expedition Training Framework as laid out by DofE. This includes 10 comprehensive modules covering everything from Equipment, Food, Navigation, Route planning and more!

With over 20 years of experience, Peak are an Approved Activity Provider and we offer comprehensive Expedition packages that deliver online or classroom-based training and on-the-hill learning. These are aligned to the DofE Expedition Training Framework and take participants through all the required stages from preparation and training through to the Qualifying Expedition.

Find out more:

Choose Peak to run your DofE expedition for 2021 and we’ll now include the new online pre expedition training as part of the package.

For more information, contact Richard Lea, DofE Expedition Manager on 07967 570352, email richard.lea@peak.co.uk or click here


Save Outdoor Education Campaign!

Help us Save Outdoor Education!

We all remember the great school trips we had! Whether it be the day trip that cemented your friendship group or the residential where you first felt grown up and built your self-confidence up! What if these trips and the outdoor education centres that provide them disappeared? How would the next generation including your children and grandchildren get those great learning experiences and memories? What if we could collectively do something to stop that happening?

The good news is we hopefully can and we need your help!

Due to the current pandemic, Outdoor Education Centres are permanently closing with a grave loss to generations of UK children. We need you to help support the campaign to Save Outdoor Education!

Some facts from UK Outdoors:

  • Outdoor education and residential centres have been prevented from operating, some receiving no income since March 2020 due to Government guidance preventing school trips for both day trips and residentials.
  • By Spring 2021 over 2 million children will have missed out on educational visits at a time when the Government acknowledges wellbeing and mental health for young people should be a priority.
  • Outdoor education trips and residentials provide vital lifelong learning with benefits including resilience and perseverance, adaptability and social awareness to name a few.
  • Residential visits are shown to be the most impactful, the moment that changes many children’s lives across the country regardless of background.
  • Around 50 Outdoor Education Centres have already closed or are at threat, with £500m loss in revenue so far.
  • Up to 15,000 jobs may be lost by spring 2021 and 50% of outdoor education capacity will be lost.

That’s a lot of children’s wellies and hiking boots that have stood still and not been active for nearly a whole year!

We want future generations to continue to be able to experience the benefits of outdoor learning and make some great memories.

How you can help?

The Team at Peak want to help the industry through supporting the #saveoutdoored campaign and you can help us with minimal time and effort by doing the key three things below:

Share & Sign the petition:

If you do one thing today, please sign this petition to help get the campaign to 100,000 signatures. Once the petition hits 10,000 signatures it will be responded to and when we hit the big 100,000 it will be considered for debate in Parliament to help get Financial Support for Outdoor Residential Centres during the lockdown closure.

This will help make sure there are still outdoor adventures available for future generations so please hit & share the link to our petition.

Follow the campaign:

Follow, share and like the campaign on all social media including, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Search #saveoutdoored

Share a video:

Do you have a great memory from a trip to an outdoor activity centre? If you do, why not tell us about it by creating a brief video to share the experience. This will help build some great personal memories showing how important Outdoor Learning is. Post the video on social media,  sign off with “Please help support the Outdoor Education Centre sector” and use the #saveoutdoored and #peakoutdoored so that not only the campaign organisers can view your memories but also the team here at Peak!

Thank you so much for your help and ensuring our children have the chance at outdoor education for many years to come!

Team Peak.



We Are Good To Go!

In the world of Covid-19 that we are currently living in companies are doing everything they can to ensure that they are Covid-19 secure and we are delighted to announce that we have successfully applied for the Good to go certification!

“We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

You will find the following certificate now displayed at all 6 of our centres so you can be sure we are Covid-19 safe!

We're Good To Go Covid-19 Industry Standard Certificate



Have you tried Stand Up Paddleboarding yet?!

Have you tried a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)? The Fastest growing Watersport in the world!

If you pop down to the local beach or waterpark you will see more and more people on Stand Up Paddleboards or SUPs.  It’s an activity where people stand on a floating board and paddle themselves through the water. In fact, supping is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world! During the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport got another huge boost in popularity. People started looking into activities that involved social distancing and with only having the capacity for one person per board Stand up paddling turns out to be an ideal activity for this!

People describe stand up paddling as a great work out for your body and mind. During stand up paddling, you use almost every single muscle in your body, which makes it one of the most healthy sports in the world whilst you enjoy the water and the view at the same time!

Here at Peak, we can get you out on a SUP at Astbury Watersports Centre in Cheshire and Trafford Watersports Centre in Greater Manchester.

Mike Gibbons is one of our SUP instructors at Astbury, near Congleton, Cheshire.  Here are his top tips for starting out on a SUP.

  • Getting on the board – start by kneeling in the middle of your paddleboard, legs shoulder-width apart and get a feel for the balance point.
  • Paddle out into deeper water whilst you are on your knees before you try to stand up
  • Try standing up and pop your feet where your knees were, feet towards the nose of the SUP
  • Don’t hold the paddle like a brush, have both hands on the shaft. Paddle with your core and back muscles, not just your arms. Start paddling as soon as you can to help with your stability.
  • Look ahead. Not at your feet and keep an eye out for other boats.
  • Enjoy it, have fun. Don’t be afraid to fall in.  Practice makes perfect!

For more information and to book a SUP adventure at Astbury or Trafford, head to our Let’s Go Paddle page!