New family activity trail to open in the Forest of Dean

There's a brand-new Julia Donaldson activity trail for families to experience at Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean this year – with Zog the dragon landing in Gloucestershire's ancient woodland this January 2023.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published

Children can start their dragon training alongside Julia Donaldson's much-loved character, Zog, when Forestry England's new family activity trail launches at Beechenhurst on Monday 30 January 2023.

Giving families another reason to explore the ancient Forest of Dean, the new trail teaches little ones all about the country's forests, how to care for them and how they look after us in return.

Inspired by the popular children's book Zog, the activity trail follows a loveable but clumsy dragon as he learns how to fly, roar and capture princesses at Madam Dragon's school. It has been designed to encourage outdoor play, inviting children to connect with their surroundings and explore the nature in the Forest of Dean as they interact with Zog and his fellow students.

The new attraction is the latest collaboration between Forestry England and Magic Light Pictures, which brought Superworm to the nation's forests in 2022 – with this year's trail being accompanied by a fun augmented reality app, developed by Arcade.

Totally free to download, the app adds an exciting dimension to the attraction, helping children to explore Zog's story and the forest in a whole new way. Enjoy completing bonus activities, including a roar-ometer, a dance challenge and the chance to become Zog himself – just remember to download it before you arrive!

There's also a trail pack full of additional activities – including stickers, magic glasses and a pair of dragon wings to decorate and wear – to purchase from Beechenhurst Café before you start the trail, costing £4.

Ellen Devine, wellbeing projects manager at Forestry England, said: 'It's so exciting to see that the new family activity trail is helping children to develop skills to care for their wellbeing and care for our forests.

'Playtime is so integral to children’s mental health and they can also learn so many valuable lessons through play. The new Zog trail provides an excellent opportunity for children to get out in nature and to learn all the lessons that little dragons need to know!'

For more information about the new trail at Beechenhurst, visit forestryengland.uk/beechenhurst/zog

In partnership with Forestry England  |  forestryengland.uk/the-forest-of-dean

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