Children can take a stroll through the deep dark woods in search of the legendary Gruffalo from April.
Activity trails, giant wooden Gruffalo sculptures and a big birthday forest picnic will be on offer at Wendover Woods to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the world-famous children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
From June, 15 giant wooden sculptures of the loveable monster will be hidden in the forest for families to track down. Standing 7ft tall and all different, the Gruffalos are being individually-carved in a secret woodland location out of three-ton pieces of timber, each carefully-selected from Forestry Commission sites.
Visitors are also invited to gather in their local forest with family and friends on Saturday June 7 to celebrate The Gruffalo’s anniversary with a big birthday forest picnic.
In October, The Gruffalo’s Child activity trails take over and will stay in the forest right through the winter until February 2015.
Characters from the stories will lead children through the trees with adventure and intrigue, learning about woods and forests as they go.
The iniative, which runs at dozens of woods across the country, is a result of a partnership between the Forestry Commission, which owns Wendover Woods, and Magic Light Pictures, the company responsible for the award-winning Gruffalo films.
Daryl Shute from Magic Light Pictures said: “The Gruffalo encourages followers to explore the real world with imagination, creativity and a true sense of adventure. With emphasis on learning and the great outdoors, Forestry Commission England is the perfect partner, and we’re delighted to be teaming up with them in this anniversary year to launch these exciting new series of trails across the country.”
“The Gruffalo lives in the natural world so a local forest is the perfect place to set out with Mouse on his journey in search of these magnificent new wooden carvings of one of the nation’s favourite children’s picture book characters.”
Ian Gambles, Director of Forestry Commission England added: “There is no better way to celebrate The Gruffalo than within the deep dark woods and forests that he calls home.
“The Gruffalo is a national treasure and so are our forests and this partnership will really help to bring the story to life and celebrate the anniversary in true Gruffalo style.
“All the activities have been carefully positioned at Forestry Commission sites across the country so you are never more than an hour away from a Gruffalo adventure.”
The Gruffalo’s famous opening line is: ‘A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good’.