If you have children you will probably have read The Gruffalo, a lovely story where a clever mouse outwits the creatures of the deep dark wood. I used to read it to my son when he was small and it was one of his favourite books. Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler this year the book celebrates its 15th anniversary.
To help celebrate this occasion The Forestry Commission have partnered with The Gruffalo and are inviting families everywhere to come to the deep dark wood and join mouse on his adventures. There will be plenty of events taking place in The Forestry Commission forest from April, a perfect excuse to get the family outdoors. I love visiting the forests, I am lucky enough to live near Hamsterley Forest and Kielder Water and Forest Park and grab any chance to visit.
In 28 forests across England you will be able to find The Gruffalo activity trails. These will run from 11th April until the end of September so you have plenty of time to visit. From June you will be able to track down The Gruffalo in the forest. 15 giant wooden sculptures of the monster will be hidden in forests across England. These will be 7 foot tall and each is being individually carved from three ton pieces of timber so they will be unique. Imagine walking though the forest and coming face to face with The Gruffalo? That will be a magical experience for most children. The locations of the Gruffalo carvings are currently secret but you can sign up to find out where they are as soon as the information is released.
The Gruffalo will also be having a birthday party. On Saturday 7th June you are all invited to the forest to take part in The Gruffalo’s anniversary birthday forest picnic. You can download a party pack of forest inspired picnic ideas, activities and bunting free from the Forestry Commission’s website.
The fun does not stop there, in October The Gruffalo’s Child activity trails will take over from The Gruffalo trails and will be in the forest until February 2015. Your family can be led though the forest by characters from the story, learning all about the woods and forests as they take part in the adventure.
I am looking forward to the trails starting and will definitely be going to track down The Gruffalo. You can sign up for your free party pack on the Forestry Commission website. You will find the trails in the following forests:
If you have a dog you might also want to read about the Forestry Commission Paws Outdoors Campaign and England’s first Walk Your Dog week.
Disclosure: I am a Forestry Commission official blogger.