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Folklore and Themes

Sites such as Bewilderwood (Wroxham, near Norwich) and The Dwarves Forest (Tervete, Latvia) have created real homes for imaginary forest people. The dwellings
reflect a fairy-story quality and are linked to other structures and events for human visitors (such as signs, play areas and activities).

How to build

  • Not all sites will be suitable for this type of development as they might attract vandalism. The concept could be trialled initially by inviting young children to create their own imaginary village out of materials they find in The two sites below have created real homes for imaginary forest people. The dwellings reflect a fairy-story quality and are linked to other structures and events for human visitors (such as signs, play areas and activities). Folklore and themes the forest. If successful an artist, sculptor or craftsman might begin to gradually make more (semi) permanent structures. Locating fragile elements out of reach; high in trees, or on islands in wetland areas will reduce likelihood of damage. This type of play environment can be as much about imagination and fantasy as physical activity.
  • Care needs to be taken about getting the aesthetic right so that it doesn’t become a tacky theme park. Developing a strong theme for a site is always helpful to designers.
Last updated: 8th March 2016

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.