Enchanted forest trail offers Sheffield children chance to explore nature

The enchanted forest trail has launched in Greno Woods (Photo credit: Helena Dolby)
The enchanted forest trail has launched in Greno Woods (Photo credit: Helena Dolby)
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A new forest trail in Grenoside is set to 'encourage little legs' and get young children excited about the nature.

An enchanted new forest trail in Sheffield is set to 'encourage little legs' to get excited about nature.

Pete Tomlin, land management officer for Sheffield and Rotherham's Wildlife Trust

Pete Tomlin, land management officer for Sheffield and Rotherham's Wildlife Trust

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has just launched a new trail in Grenoside specifically for under fives.

The Enchanted Forest Trail in Greno Woods, is aimed at toddlers and young children to help them learn new skills while exploring the ancient woodland reserve.

It s the brainchild of Pete Tomlin, land management officer for Sheffield and Rotherham's Wildlife Trust.

Set within the trees, the trail is themed around the traditional English folklore of the green man, a symbol of the renewal in the spring.

Pete's wife Keli with their son Arthur (Photo credit: Helena Dolby)

Pete's wife Keli with their son Arthur (Photo credit: Helena Dolby)

It is adorned with carvings by Sheffield-based sculptor Paul Casson-Yardley, which set challenges for children along the way courtesy of Pete and his wife who wrote the poems.

Youngsters can follow the path to overcome obstacles, pass through labyrinths and even build homes for gnomes before ending at a picnic bench.

Speaking of the idea for the trail, he said: "I went on holiday to the Lake District, with my son who was about 18 months old at the time and we went on lots of different woodland trails the nature reserves there had to offer and really enjoyed it.

"It was the first big holiday that we had with him and I came back thinking ‘we’ve got to have one of those on our reserves'.

"I was able to work with a local artist and the creative story came from there."

"We as a trust are really keen to get people outdoors, especially children. If we can get young people interested and engaged in nature it's really positive.

"Children are the future for woodland conservation and they are the future members of the trust.
"It's also good for the child's well-being, it's a great fun activity trail and a way of getting kids out and enjoying nature."

Pete originally wanted to use the popular green man faces for the trail, and coincidentally sculptor Paul Casson-Yardley had reached out to the trust to showcase his work which led to a match made in heaven.

The trail officially launched on earlier this month with a fun day for both parents and children alike.

Pete said: "The launch was great. The weather was a bit grey and cold, but despite that we had a really good turn out.

"We had loads of interest on social media. We were only going to do one launch in the morning, but it sold out in a couple of hours so we put one in the afternoon and since then there's been loads of positive reactions."

The trail is now open for the all the public to enjoy, no matter what the weather.