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Tall Tales and Trees to Climb - Tons of Fun for Kids at The National Forest Wood Fair

Tuesday, 17th July 2007

Tall Tales and Trees to Climb - Tons of Fun for Kids at The National Forest Wood Fair

Stories and songs, arts and crafts – the woods are the place to be! Bank Holiday Monday 27 August promises to provide a fun-packed day for youngsters bringing their families to The National Forest Wood Fair at Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire.

Tales from the Wild Man of the Woods, free art sessions, tree climbing (supervised!) and coracle paddling are just some of the exciting activities for children at this popular National Forest event.

Claire Martin of Artworks explains the sessions she will be running: “With all the trees to inspire us, youngsters can come and join us on our stand and have a go at collage making, painting and drawing. We’ll be doing rubbings from bark and wood shavings and mixing these with textured paper, fabrics and other materials. Everyone can make something to take home.”

The Wild Man of the Woods captivated audiences at last year’s Wood Fair with his stories about the country lore of the past and songs for the future urging everyone to “keep it wild, keep it green!” He will be back with more choruses to rouse his listeners in defence of the earth and have fun at the same time!

Creatures that live in the woods will inspire the free craft sessions offered at the Wood Fair by the Rangers from Conkers Discovery Centre.

For those with excess energy to burn, there will be plenty of activities to try that are usually on the ‘oooh be careful!’ list.

Start with some tree climbing: harnesses and safety hats are provided to help the adventurous get higher, safer. Or take the tree surgeon’s lift and scale half the height of an oak tree, 15m high in the sky.

Get tips and tricks on how to live in the woods: Woodland Ways Survival School will demonstrate fire lighting techniques, how to filter water through a sock (and how to dry it out afterwards with the help of a bulrush seed head!); making twine from tree roots to string up food for cooking over a fire – and how to leave the woodland looking as if no one was ever there!

Getting the hang of paddling a coracle is quite an art, but expert advice from master coracler Kevin Grimley will get you from one side of the pool to the other – it just might be a bit splashy!

There will be plenty of wildlife and animals to keep children amused. Simon Tebbutt will bring a spectacular display of owls and falcons, and one of the magnificent Loch Creran Clydesdale heavy horses will be hauling timber from the woods.

Hugh Williams of the National Forest Company said: “The Wood Fair has always been a great event for families, and we are delighted this year to have secured so many talented people to offer an exciting array of activities for all ages – particularly children. It is important that young people have a chance to learn about the natural world and how they can relate to the countryside.”

He continued: “One of the fundamental aims of the Wood Fair is to show people the importance of trees and woodlands, and that growing The National Forest - managing the woods and felling and replanting the trees - makes a valuable contribution to the lives of people who live here, to the experience of those who come and visit, and is a source of employment for an increasing number of people.”

The Wood Fair is organised by the National Forest Company and Leicestershire County Council. The Wood Fair will run from 10am - 5pm and guarantees a great Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August. Admission charges include car parking and a programme and will cost adults £6, concessions £4 and a family ticket £14 (for two adults and two children).

Beacon Hill Country Park lies within the ancient Forest of Charnwood and is close to the attractive village of Woodhouse Eaves, just five minutes drive from Junctions 22 or 23 of the M1. The Country Park, owned and managed by Leicestershire County Council, with its craggy summit and panoramic views, is just one of the many visitor attractions across the three counties that make up The National Forest.

Take a look at the Visit & Explore section for further information on the Wood Fair or telephone 01283 551211