There’s something really magical about being in the woods, bundled up in wellies and woolies, the crunch of leaves and twigs underfoot and the autumn sun just peeping through the branches of big old trees, casting an almost ethereal light that can transport you to another place…. To a place where elves and fairies dance amongst the flora and fauna, where dens are made and adventures are had, and bears are hunted through swishy grass, muddy paths, babbling streams, even the odd snowstorm…
… or at least that’s how it goes in the best-loved children’s classic by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, who last week launched a campaign with Highland Spring and The Woodland Trust, to encourage families across Britain to enjoy their local woodland and bring it to life through the magic of storytelling.
We were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of the campaign last Sunday, where we were treated to a fantastic reading of We’re Going on a Beat Hunt by Michael Rosen himself – who was AMAZING at bringing the story to life, Allegra was absolutely captivated by his rendition of what has become one of her favourites ever since we saw the live show.
We spent a wonderful autumnal afternoon at Highgate Wood in London, under the canopy of the trees, listening to Rosen before going on our own bear hunt through the woods, which Allegra absolutely loved! She had a great time running around trying to seek out the bear pictures stuck to trees, then “writing” the letters on each on her paper to spell out a word. She really got into it and there was lots of giggling and excitement.
Afterwards there was lunch and a chance to get a signed copy of the Bear Hunt book (exciting!) and meet the other people at the launch – including TOWIE’s Lydia, her mum and family, who were all so friendly and lovely. Allegra took quite a shine to Lydia’s younger sister Roma, who she thought was a princess because she was wearing a princess fancy-dress costume and looked beautiful :-)
Oh and did I mention, there was also face-painting?! – Allegra’s favourite thing ever! She was straight in there for some face-painting on arrival and emerged with a fairy princess design on her cheeks that she was most proud of!
Highland Spring is working with The Woodland Trust to create the Nation’s Biggest Fairytale. Michael Rosen has provided the first line, but what happens next is up to the Great British public, so budding authors and imaginative tweeters are being asked to go online here or search @HSfairytale to play their part in creating the story.
We had such fun that afternoon and just about managed to escape the rain, which bucketed down right at the end! It really inspired me to make the effort to get out and about more into the woods as a family and fire up our imaginations to have fun amongst the trees in the fresh air.
For more information, to download resources and take part in the Nation’s Biggest Fairytale visit www.highland-spring.com or search @HSfairytale