Magical and free fairy trail launches just outside Norwich

Louisa Baldwin- Eastern Daily Press

The Woodman family using the walk with the fairies online map in Cary’s Meadow. – Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

Your little ones are in for a magical time as an interactive art installation of fairy doors has launched at a nature reserve.

The free trail is running in Cary’s Meadow in Thorpe St Andrew until summer 2022 and it is a great way for families to connect with nature. 

The online map helps you find each fairy door at Cary’s Meadow. – Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

Visitors can download and follow a beautifully illustrated map of the meadow and each magical door unlocks a poem or story inspired by the natural world. 

The project is the creative work of children from Norwich, Thorpe St Andrew and across Norfolk, with writer Ruthie Collins working in collaboration with local artists, Norwich Men’s Shed and the Broads Authority.

Tom, aged 5, Felix, aged 4, and Alice, aged 7, enjoying the interactive fairies walk at Cary’s Meadow. – Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

The trail was inspired by a local mum from Thorpe St Andrew, Shazia Miza Rochford, as a way to lift the spirits and inspire children in the local area.

The map, created by Norfolk illustrator Joe Fear, was commissioned by Natural Wonder and features some of the wildlife, flora and fauna you can find on the meadow.

Robin, aged one, enjoying a walk with the fairies at Cary’s Meadow. – Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

The map has been made into an interactive gallery for the children’s stories and poems.

Children from year four at Henderson Green Primary School have also written stories and poems for the trail and their work will appear in 2022.

The Natural Wonder Fairy Door Trail runs until summer 2022. – Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

Ruthie Collins, writer and curator at Natural Wonder, said: “I started running outdoor learning sessions on Cary’s Meadow in the pandemic to support education and wellbeing. 

“Many children are just happier outdoors and this has been a great way to help children get closer to nature and to science, geography and writing, too.”

The trail also features a new poem she has written inspired by the bats that roost at Cary’s Meadow behind door number 10 called Bats about Bats!

The doors were created by members at social enterprise Norwich Men’s Shed, with funding from National Lottery Local Connections Fund.

The free trail is running alongside a programme of Fairy Doors events.

For more information and to download the map visit wondernatural.co.uk/projects/the-fairy-door-trail or scan the QR code at the gate when you enter Cary’s Meadow, with free parking too. 

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