A HAMPSHIRE activity tourist attraction which pulled in more than 20,000 users last year has been devastated by the winds of the weekend.

Treerunners in Harewood Forest, between Winchester and Andover, is out of action but owner Ben Emley is optimistic and stoical about the damage.

“About 60 per cent of the platforms are down but we hope to be up and running again in May.

“The new course will give users a new experience. What happened was a natural event and we have plenty of trees here.”

The wet winter weather is to blame, he says.

“The trees came down because of the extremely wet winter weather, which loosened the soil and then we had a very very strong wind,” added Ben “I was shocked when I first saw what happened, everything was on its side like a beached whale.”

While Ben may be able to salvage some of the platforms and links and use them for the new course many of them are cut to fit individual trees at the tree top high rope activity centre and will have to be replaced.

The attraction opened in March 2012 and has proved popular with local schools as well as scout groups and families.