Wednesday 2 July 2014

"His eyes are orange, his tongue is black, He has purple prickles all over his back."

After going on our Gruffalo hunt with the boys a couple of weeks ago i looked online at the other Forestry Commission areas that also had the Gruffalo sculptures. We had had such a great day that day and i was interested in finding out whether all the locations had the same sculptures or if each one was different. I was excited to find out that they are all different but also that one of the locations was in Shropshire and somewhere we had never been before. Wyre Forest is the other side of Shropshire from us and an hour drive but the pictures of the surrounding area looked beautiful and today we had no plans whatsoever.

As soon as we arrived and walked through the gate Opeie was drawn in by the play area, A series of wooden animals to climb on, and a few that can be found in his beloved Gruffalo book. I thought this was great as it was clearly something that was there all year round but tied in perfectly with the 15th year Birthday celebrations.

The great thing about the Gruffalo hunt and what made it more fun than the Cannock chase  adventure is that the Gruffalo this time was quite a distance away, yet Opeie managed to get us all the way there by himself just by following the arrows, i was quite impressed. To help us on our mission though just in case things had have gone wrong and we were left stranded, Opeie had brought little brown mouse (lets be honest that little chap knows where hes going).

So off we trecked stopping at every clue, wood carving and oddity along the way. We have so much fun together all the time but i haven't seen Opeie as excited as this for a long time. I think it was the warm sunny weather and being completely in control of the navigational side of our adventure, the trail was so clearly mapped out that i just left him to it and he did me proud...

We may have completely missed it on the Cannock Chase trail but we didn't see any of the other characters from the books or any Gruffalo directions so this for us was much more of a fun family experience. We spotted the little brown mouse, The fox, owl and snake as we combed the forest looking for those purple prickles and poisonous wart.

It was exciting running (or "joggling") from clue to clue knowing that each step was getting us closer to that big cuddley character we love so much. after about 45 minutes hunting we spied a familiar shape in the distance and Opeie's little face lit up. We weren't completely sure what it was so we were cautious and approached it slowly attempting not to make any loud noises. As we got closer we realised it was him, our beloved beast and he was fast asleep in a small wooded area surrounded by logs.

It was pretty close to lunch time so as it was such a lovely area with the sunlight shining through the trees we sat down for a bite to eat, before lying against the Gruffalo and reading his books that we have grown to love over the years. Opeie can pretty much recite The Gruffalo because of all the times we have read it to him since he was very young (it will always be a firm favourite).

While packing Opeie's books for the adventure i came across a Gruffalo activity book that hadn't been used so i packed that also. There was no one else about for a while and it was so lovely to lie on the ground next to the Gruffalo colouring with Opeie, It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere..

After a while a class of school children arrived and suddenly our peaceful, relaxing time in the forest colouring was no more so we headed back to the car. Opeie was looking shattered from the excitement of searching for his knobbly kneed friend. Now to work out where the next nearest Forestry Commission area is so we can start the adventure all over again...

...Until next time.

1 comment:

Em @ snowingindoors said...

That looks so good and Opeie obviously loved it. We went to a Gruffalo train in the Forest of Dean but it was so busy and in such a small area that it was a bit disappointing, this looks awesome thought, nicely spread out and loads to see.