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Join The Gruffalo’s Child on her forest adventure

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Gruffalo play in winter

Families across England are invited into the deep dark wood this autumn and winter to find The Gruffalo’s Child, who has followed The Gruffalo out of his comfortable cave for a forest trail adventure.

The Gruffalo’s Child activity trails are the latest initiative organised by Forestry Commission England in conjunction with Magic Light Pictures, following the success from this year’s Gruffalo’s Forest Tour, which was supported by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler.

During spring and summer 2014, more than 10,000 children met the Gruffalo himself and hundreds of thousands followed the Gruffalo activity trails through Forestry Commission England's woods and forests.

From 3 October 2014 until February 2015*, self-led Gruffalo’s Child activity trails will be located in 24 Forestry Commission forests across England, continuing the nationwide celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the book’s publication.

While following the trail route, children and families can take part in activities based on their favourite book’s characters.

The trails will lead children and families through the forests using activity boards to help them discover nature and woods at a time of the year when forests are at their most beautiful.

In addition, there will be activity packs available for £2, which will include a foraging bag, a fun-packed activity leaflet, a colouring-in sheet and a special Gruffalo's Child sticker. These special packs will encourage children to learn more about the behaviour of animals in autumn and how they search for food, create shelters and prepare for the cold winter months.

Ian Gambles, Director of Forestry Commission England, commented:

“The Gruffalo’s Forest Tour this summer was an outstanding success and we welcomed an unprecedented number of children and families to the forest – many for their first time. We are looking forward to providing new reasons to visit with these great activities for The Gruffalo’s Child this autumn.

“The trails will be an amazing adventure, encouraging visitors to make the most of the autumn and winter seasons in our beautiful forests alongside one of the all-time favourite book characters.”

Later this winter, several uniquely carved wooden sculptures of The Gruffalo’s Child will be placed in selected forests around England.

Visit for details of the trails and to sign up to be the first to hear about the new sculpture locations.


Notes to Editor

For more information and to request images, please contact:

Katrina Podlewska at the Forestry Commission on 0300 067 4030 or email

Max Boon at Spirit Public Relations on 0117 944 1415 or email

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. Forestry Commission Discovery Passes vary in price from £20-£55 for annual membership. For more information visit

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. It started in March with a national schools tour of Gruffalo themed days in partnership with Film Nation; the Gruffalo birthday month at the Eden Project was 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. The Gruffalo’s Tour and Trails in figures
28 forests across England hosted Gruffalo activity trails. The Gruffalo trails led to an increase in visitors of a third in some forests.
This summer more than 10,000 children met and had their photo taken with the Gruffalo himself on the Gruffalo Forest Tour across England
Over 56,000 signed up to receive email updates on the trails in the first few months
There have been more than 670,000 unique page views to the Gruffalo web pages to date.

5. About Magic Light Pictures
Magic Light Pictures makes imaginative entertainment for audiences, families and children worldwide.

The company creates high quality films and products and has built the wonderful Gruffalo brand over many years.  Its filmmaking includes feature films such as Oscar-nominated animation Chico & Rita, comedy thriller Wild Target and natural history documentary One Life.

The company directly manages production, licensing, global distribution and marketing.  Magic Light has sold its Oscar and BAFTA-nominated half-hour animated films, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, to over 80 broadcasters worldwide.  It runs an international merchandising programme with over 40 licensees and 250 products.  In 2012, the company launched Room on the Broom – based on the best-selling book by Donaldson and Scheffler – with a Bafta and International Emmy-winning half-hour animation and a growing range of merchandise.
Follow on Twitter @MagicLightPics

6. About The Gruffalo
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.

7. *The Gruffalo’s Child Forest Trail Locations
The list below shows the locations of The Gruffalo’s Child activity trails.
1. Alice Holt Forest, Surrey
2. Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset 
3. Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Kent
4. High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Suffolk
5. Wendover Woods, Buckinghamshire
6. Jeskyns, Gravesend, Kent
7. Birches Valley Forest, Cannock Chase
8. Delamere Forest, Cheshire
9. Hicks Lodge, Derbyshire
10.  Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire
11.  Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire
12.  Top Lodge, Fineshade
13.  Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean
14.  Haldon Forest Park, Exeter, Devon
15.  Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Gloucestershire (trail date 1 December 2014 - 28 February 2015)
16.  Cardinham Woods, Bodmin, Cornwall
17.  Haughmond Hill, Shropshire
18.  Wyre Forest, Worcestershire
19.  Dalby Forest, Yorkshire
20.  Guisborough Forest, North Yorkshire
21.  Whinlatter Forest, Nr Keswick, Cumbria
22.  Hamsterley Forest, Country Durham
23.  Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland
24.  Grizedale Forest, Nr Hawkshead,  Cumbria

8. Gruffalo’s Child sculptures
By February 2015 there will be carved Gruffalo’s Child sculptures at the following locations:
1. Wyre Forest, Worcestershire
2. High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Suffolk
3. Dalby. Yorkshire
4. Whinlatter Nr Keswick, Cumbria
5. Alice Holt, Surrey
6. Bedgebury, National Pinetum and Forest, Kent
7. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Gloucestershire
8. Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset