The tale of The Gruffalo has been popularized by a children’s book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Scheffler. The book sold more than 3.5 million copies around the world, won children’s literature awards, and has been developed into plays by West End and Broadway. It tells of the story of a mouse journeying through a European forest and meets a fictional animal called the Gruffalo.
An homage to the book and its beloved characters can be found in the trails of Gisburn Forest in the Ribble Valley of Lancashire. More than having various walking trails available for the whole family, the forest hub also features cycling trails, playing areas, orienteering, and horse riding activities.
The Gruffalo Spotter
Made through the partnership of the Forestry Commission of England and Magic Light Pictures, children and their parents can explore Gisburn forest with The Gruffalo characters through their newly developed application named The Gruffalo Spotter, an augmented reality app. The app has been designed to be functional in 26 of England’s forests, but the trail has opened first in Gisburn forest last February 2017.
Family and friends can have fun while taking a walking adventure through the wooded forests after downloading The Gruffalo Spotter. The app is self-led so users can simply follow its direction along the trails of the Gisburn forest. Made with children’s learning in mind, the app was also made to very informative as it offers fun activities and essential facts about forest animals that might be encountered along the trail.
To commemorate the family experience after spotting the popular literary characters from The Gruffalo, parents can take pictures of their children with 3D animated characters brought to life by the app. There is no need to worry about keeping track of the photos as the app automatically saves them in its gallery. From there, users can easily share their pictures and experiences via various social media platforms with Twitter and Facebook.
The Gruffalo Activity Kit
To give children more fun activities to do and to supplement their exploration of the forests, parents and other visitors can also choose to purchase the Gruffalo Activity Kit. The kit can be bought form the Gisburn Forest Hub Café for £3 each.
The Gruffalo Activity Kit contains objects that children and other enthusiasts can use to make their experience more fun and interactive such as an evidence collection bag, a one-of-a-kind magnifying glass, stickers of the characters, ruler, pencil, and activity cards.
Gruffalo Trail Important Reminders
Before going into Gisburn forest for the Gruffalo trail, remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and a change of clothes since exploring the path is an outdoor physical activity. In addition, when you are visiting the forest during rainy days, expect the trails to be really muddy and slippery so you may take extra care while walking the trails after rain showers.
Exploring the Gruffalo Trail in Gisburn forest is sure to be fun for the whole family or for your group of friends as you can get to exercise and spend the day exploring the woods, a great break from the hustle and bustle of urban, city life. For children, especially, mixing the augmented reality with the actual forest experience can encourage them to use their imagination more and love nature and the outdoors.