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NEWS RELEASE No: 1657423 MARCH 2016

Enjoy a Gruffalo Orienteering adventure at your local Forestry Commission England woodland

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Gruffalo orienteering pack2

Forestry Commission England’s Whinlatter Forest invites families to take part in a new forest adventure.

Working in partnership with British Orienteering, from 24  March children will be able to plot their way through the trees on a Gruffalo themed orienteering course.

The children’s favourite book character will lead visitors on a navigational challenge which will involve a healthy mix of physical activity and problem solving, making it a great exercise for both the body and mind.

The course will take you past the new Gruffalo’s Child wooden sculpture as well as the existing Gruffalo sculpture  in Whinlatter Forest

Children can choose to run or walk the course through the woodlands and can time themselves against the clock if they want to increase the challenge.

The course will be marked out on a simple map for children to use to find twelve Gruffalo markers. Once each marker has been found, children will be challenged with a question related to the marker in the Gruffalo orienteering leaflet.

Peter Rawlinson, Head of Active Forests, Forestry Commission, commented:

 “Kids will love the excitement of using a simple map to try and find twelve Gruffalo markers. Once they've found each marker they need to answer the question related to the marker in their Gruffalo orienteering leaflet.

“It is a fun outdoor activity in which the whole family can get involved and there are boundless benefits to following a course in the fresh air and stunning forest surroundings.”

Craig Anthony, Head of British Orienteering, commented:

“Orienteering is a fantastic family sport for kids with a sense of adventure. As an activity, it provides valuable life skills, along with the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

“We are very excited to be working with the Forestry Commission; woodlands provide a unique and spectacular setting, making them the ideal partner for an orienteering forest adventure.”

The Gruffalo orienteering map, along with certificate and a course map are available to buy from the visitor centre for £1.50.

In order to encourage more children to take part in orienteering we are offering the map free to schools who book in advance.

For further details on Gruffalo orienteering, and other sports and activities in the forest, visit

For more information and to request images, please contact:

Sarah Bruce, Marketing and Communications Manager, Forestry Commission, North England Forest District -

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
2.The Gruffalo is a fast growing classic brand based on the best-selling books written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.  Magic Light Pictures produced two award winning half hour animated films (The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child) and has launched a very successful, high quality merchandising programme which builds on the heritage of this special and much loved property. 
First published in 1999 by Macmillan's Children's Books The Gruffalo has been described as a 'modern classic' (The Observer). Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the book has been translated into 52 different languages. A second book, The Gruffalo's Child, was published in 2004 and together they have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
In 2009 Magic Light Pictures produced a half hour animated special based on The Gruffalo. First broadcast in the UK on BBC One, Christmas Day 2009, the film was seen by over 10m viewers, then nominated for both an Oscar® and BAFTA Film Award, and has gone on to win numerous international film awards including the Prix Jeunesse 2010. A companion film The Gruffalo's Child premiered on BBC One Christmas 2011 to 10m viewers.
3. Orienteering is a fun navigational challenge and involves a healthy mix of physical activity and decision making. Participants must use a map to find a series of points as efficiently and quickly as possible
4. British Orienteering is the national governing body for the sport of orienteering in the United Kingdom. The federation was founded in June 1967, and is a member of the IOF. In February 1984, they collaborated with the BBC on an episode of the television drama series Grange Hill. In April 2008, they also collaborated with the BBC on an episode of the CBBC show Sportsround.