A brand new 'outdoor storying'
adventure for all ages!
Who fancies exploring with stories?
Have you ever wondered whether the tree you're leaning against is a hazel or a hawthorn? Or asked yourself why the woods look like they do in this particular part of the park? Do you fancy finding out about the folklore connected to our local flora and fauna, and how about enjoying a tall tale or two?
Inspired by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris's mission to "conjure back the near-lost magic and strangeness of the nature that surrounds us", my girls and I would like to share an extra special blend of the two things we love most in the world: stories and the outdoors!
This is a project that you can dip into whenever you feel like it - there's no time limit and no rules about where to start and how to do it. Let the trees and the tales guide you!
What is 'Fairytrails'...?
'Fairytrails' is designed for everyone - age isn't important - it's all about enjoying the great outdoors and delighting in the sharing of stories! It's totally free and we're hoping that it will help you connect with the wild outside in a new and unique way! This is all about transforming your next walk into more of a mission 'STORY'!
During the challenge, you'll encounter stories told, read and written down, discover some of the folklore associated with the trees, plants and creatures we see outdoors, pick up some handy natural navigation tips and learn a little bushcraft and plant lore. Who knows - you might even find yourself sharing some spell-binding stories on your next outdoor adventure stood by trees you can now easily identify!
At the end of the week, you can get in touch and tell us all about how it went and which challenges you most enjoyed - and we'll email a certificate of completion over to you with our thanks and some tips for how you might get busy with some more outdoor storying as we head towards spring!
For Bristol bods, we've created a little outdoor storying route around our local park (Victoria Park, Bristol).
If that's you, then grab our map of Victoria Park (see red box/bottom of page for map), feel free to embellish it with goblins, piskies, witches and the like...and, during the week, we challenge you to visit each of the trees, plants and creatures marked on the map!
If you aren't local to Victoria Park, Bristol - don't panic! You can still do this where you live! You might just need a little extra help from the fab free apps Flora Incognita and The Woodland Trust to check you've got the right trees! We'd love to see the maps you make and some of you might even be brave enough to share them with your local area so others can enjoy an 'outdoor storying' adventure!
Stories & activities...
1. Start by selecting one of the trees, plants or creatures featured in the challenge (see below). Each outdoor element has its own blog post.
2. Listen to the story we've connected to that tree, plant or creature. This might be read, told or written.
3. Navigate your way to the spot you've chosen / or find somewhere similar in the area you live.
4. Little ones might like to have a go at the outdoor storying activities we've suggested.
5. Bigger'uns / wise ones / grownups might like to check out the articles, podcasts and reading recommendations we've popped into the individual blogs.
Natural navigation, podcasts and more...
This isn't just for kids! Attached to each tree, plant and creature is a little bit of 'natural navigation know-how', plant knowledge, suggested podcasts, associated articles, book recommendations and more stories and activities that you might enjoy! There's just so much to get your teeth into with this outdoor storying lark!
Let us know how you get on and if you feel like creating your own 'Fairytrails' map for your local park or garden we'd love to hear all about it!
Click here for our local 'Fairytrails' map.
Click here for our tree ID videos.
Click here for the free tree identification app Flora Incognita
Click here for the free
Woodland Trust app
Click here for Robert Macfarlane's article on 'Rewilding our Language of Landscape'
Click here for links to The Lost Words and Spell Songs, by Robert Mafarlane and Jackie Morris
Our local park...
How to complete the Fairytrails Challenge...
1. Use the map to choose your focus.
2. Use the menu below to read the blog post.
3. Listen to / watch / read the story.
4. Navigate to the spot and retell the story.
5. Try the outdoor storying activities.
6. Let us know how you get on - we'd love to hear from you.
6. Return to the map and the menu for the next challenge!