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NEWS RELEASE No: 1395523 AUGUST 2010

Now that's what you call wildlife!

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It does nothing for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, but a 30 foot long caterpillar will wow the crowds at this year’s Guisborough Forest Festival!

The mammoth rustic jamboree will be staged on Sunday 12 September from 10am to 4pm in the idyllic North York Moors beauty spot.

Now the biggest event of its kind in northern England, it is organised by the Forestry Commission, Friends of Guisborough Forest and Walkway and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

Over 100 exhibitors and participants will take part – amongst them the North East-based mega-puppetry troupe, Neighbourhood Watch Stilts International, bringing along some incredible creations.

Two years ago they made their Guisborough debut before 4,000 people with an orchestra of surreal drumming ants! 

Now they are back after a year touring the globe taking in such exotic locations as Nice in France and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.  Puppet Master Paul Miskin, who devises the show with partner Maysie Sharp, explained:

“It takes ten people with portable air blowers on their backs to operate the giant inflatable caterpillar.  Generally puppets are controlled with strings, but in this case the people creating the illusion are on the inside.  The effect is stunning and never fails to thrill people.  After the terrific reception we had last time we are also sending the Samba Ants back to Guisborough.”

Elsewhere there will be rustic music, chance to saddle up and experience the excitement of cycling, try ancient skills like wood turning and willow weaving and stimulate your senses with herbal medicines. Cath Brason, Forestry Commission ranger, said: 

"Thousands of people have been introduced to crafts like basket making and woodturning at the festival - all dedicated to nurturing a love for the environment. That proud tradition of trying something new is set to carry on this time round against a stunning back drop of circus acts, huge inflatable puppets and brilliant music.  Guisborough will be humming with activity.”

Also on offer this year is a chance to sample organic produce, try bushcraft, meet the British Black Bee and even scale a daunting climbing wall. Further details on 01287 631132, or log on to

 Notes to Editor

  1. A free park and ride bus service to the festival will operate from Fountain Street car park on Rectory Lane, Guisborough. No parking will be available at the Pinchinthorpe entrance to the forest (except for disabled visitors).  Other parking arrangements will be signed on the day. Admission is £12 family ticket (two adults, two children), £4 adults and £3 children.

  2. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from

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Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.