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After a wet winter, Forestry Commission England's woods and forests will spring to life over the next few months, offering families the chance to stretch imaginations and run off excess winter energy.
Woodlands in spring have inspired fairy tales and myths for centuries and Forestry Commission England’s website has a host of woodland-inspired fairy tale activities to fill your family’s spring visit.
Downloadable activity sheets show how to create your own fairy outfit with material found on your visit (found, not picked!), create your own wizard’s broomstick or make your own leaf crown.
You’ll also find fairy tale features in many Forestry Commission England woodlands, from natural babbling brooks and tree glades to enchanting sculptures, fairy dens and giant chairs - perfect for story telling. Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/fairytales to find out more.
Families will also get to celebrate The Gruffalo's 15th anniversary in woods and forests across the country.
From April, visitors can join Mouse on his adventure and explore Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning tale through activity trails in 28 Forestry Commission England locations.
The Gruffalo activity trails run through to the end of September. In October, The Gruffalo’s Child activity trails take over and will stay in the forest right through the winter until February 2015. Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo to find out more.
Notes to editors:
1. 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. Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/england
2. Forestry Commission Discovery Passes vary in price from £20-£50 for annual membership. For more information visit www.forestry.gov.uk/pass
3. 2014 marks The Gruffalo’s 15th anniversary and The Gruffalo’s Child’s 10th anniversary and will see a range of celebratory events which are being driven by Magic Light Pictures. Starting in March, a national schools tour of Gruffalo themed days will take place in partnership with Film Nation; the Gruffalo birthday month at the Eden Project will be celebrated in May and Gruffalo films will be performed live with the Northern Sinfonia in October. The anniversary year also sees the launch of Gruffalo reading frames with Specsavers along with other new and exciting product ranges including luxury wooden toys from Bajo and anniversary publications from Macmillan's Children's Books.
4. Gruffalo activity trail locations
Gruffalo activity trails take place in the following locations. From June, 15 life-sized carvings of The Gruffalo will be located at the forests marked with *.
• Alice Holt, Surrey*
• Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Kent*
• Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
• Cannock Chase, Staffordshire*
• Cardinham Woods, Bodmin
• Dalby Forest, Yorkshire*
• Delamere Forest, Cheshire*
• Grizedale Forest, Cumbria
• Guisborough Forest,
• Haldon Forest Park, Exeter*
• Hamsterley Forest, Durham*
• Hicks Lodge, Leicestershire
• High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Suffolk*
• Jeskyns, Kent*
• Kielder Forest, Northumberland
• Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset*
• New Forest Bolderwood, Hampshire
• Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire
• Sherwood Pines, Nottingham*
• Top Lodge, Fineshade woods, Northamptonshire*
• Wendover Woods, Buckinghamshire*
• Westonbirt, Gloucestershire*
• Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria*
• Wyre Forest, Shropshire*