Marley Eternit was chosen to build the huts on Alton Towers Resort’s latest attraction – Wicker Man. Wicker Man is the UK’s first new wooden roller coaster to be built in over 20 years and the first to combine fire and wood. Costing over £16 million to build, it offers riders a truly immersive experience, with a fiery twist.
As part of the story, which is set in the world of the Beornen, a fictional community living in the woods, a few huts were placed around the wooden track. In order to continue the woodland theme, the company supplied 327 bundles of its Blue Label Western Red Cedar Shakes, which were used to create over 800 m2 of roofing for the roller coaster.
“The task of building a rollercoaster which combines fire and wood required careful planning in order to bring our vision to life. However, for us, it’s not just about creating the ride itself but also its surroundings to deliver a truly immersive experience to our guests,” said Neil Walker from Merlin Entertainment, who also project managed the construction.
The choice for Marley Eternit’s Shakes was due to their robust finish and the reassurance provided by the accreditation to the Certi-Grade quality assurance label as certified by the Cedar Shingle and Shake Bureau (CSSB). Moreover, the shakes also require low maintenance and blend into the wider surroundings very well.
Another one of the benefits of using the Western Red Cedar Shakes is that it has one of the lowest carbon footprints, representing a new carbon sink upon delivery. This means that more carbon is stored in the shake than is emitted during its harvest, manufacture and transportation combined.
“It was crucial the new huts were designed sensitively to blend into the wider design of the Wicker Man ride, complementing the overall aesthetic Merlin was keen to achieve. In commercial projects such as this, the lightweight nature of our Shakes together with their ease of installation, play an important role in ensuring they were able to meet the deadline,” commented Daniel Redfern from Marley Eternit.