As Ambassadors for the Forest at Whinlatter we were pleased to be asked to try out the new Gruffalo Spotting app this weekend. These are an upgrade to the trails that were first introduced in 2014. We downloaded the app and took our Gruffalo Spotters' pack (normally £3 from your forest):
We then took the hour long drive across Cumbria to Whinlatter forest to start our trail:
First of all my son had to have a go in the basket swing as we passed it!
The pack included a booklet and a pencil for your child to fill in with answers to the clues they came across. For each creature from the book there was a partial picture clue:
Then further up the trail there was a another clue with 3 pictures hidden behind a wheel that they had to turn. Could it be the Gruffalo with terrible claws?:
If your child hadn't guessed by now which animal it was then they soon found some binoculars to look through for the final clue:
The final answer was revealed around the next corner and then a sticker could be stuck on the right page. At least one family we met said that their child just stuck on the stickers on themselves!
Once you had found the creature then you got to try out the app to take a photograph of your child with the creature. The little animation of them appearing was lovely to watch. As you can see it took some practice to perfect my technique of capturing my son in the right spot:
With it being a nice day we weren't the only families trying out the app. Luckily it wasn't my child who ran screaming away from the life size sculpture of the Gruffalo that was at the end of the trail:
There were activity cards that went with each creature that could quite easily extend your time on the trail, especially with a group of children. They included facts, challenges and things to look for in the forest.
My son then wanted to go and experience the Wild Play trail. So we walked right back to the start of it. Some of the slides were faster than others:
There is something for everyone including a traversing wall that is quite tricky to do:
An activity that keeps grown ups and children amused for ages is the Archimedes Screw which creates water fun. My son teamed up with some other children to create floods and tidal waves:
My son also spent ages on the gravel shifting section. I helped him to use the pulleys and tubes etc to move the stones around:
We then headed back to the Information Centre to collect his certificate. It was certainly an entertaining way to spend an hour or so in the forest. The cost of the activity pack is reasonable too as it can be used by the whole family. We rewarded ourselves with a hot lunch in the Siskins Cafe.
I can't wait to get back up to the forest maybe for the Earth Hour stargazing walk.