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Easter adventures at Wakehurst - take the family on a Gruffalo hunt

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Stroll through the deep dark wood and meet the elusive knobbly-kneed monster

THIS Easter, Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, will become home to the much-loved characters from author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s acclaimed book, The Gruffalo. The event will run throughout the Easter holidays from April 4-19.

Gruffalo Adventures will wind its way through Wakehurst’s picturesque landscape, where visitors will encounter the characters of Fox, Owl and Snake and of course, the Gruffalo.

Picking up a map, they will follow tracks and feathers to solve clues and discover the secret world of animals. They’ll learn about different habitats and the marks we leave behind as humans in a woodland ecosystem. Interactive activities at each stop will let children see the world from the perspective of each animal character.

Brave explorers can even meet the Gruffalo himself in the form of a life-size wooden sculpture.

At the beginning of the trail, children will be invited to become the character of the ‘little brown mouse’ in pursuit of the Gruffalo.

Inside the Millennium Seed Bank children can experience what it feels like to be a scientist. They can pop on a lab coat to dissect real owl pellets collected from a local owl sanctuary. Using a microscope, children can identify all sorts of materials the owl can’t digest, and thereby discover what they have been eating (Price £4, suitable for 5+).

In the Gruffalo crumble Easter egg hunt children will be able to search for ingredients for a Gruffalo crumble. Once all the ingredients are found, a reward of Divine Chocolate mini eggs awaits (Price £4, suitable for 3+). The trail will take visitors through swathes of bluebells covering the woodland floor.

While searching for the elusive Gruffalo, visitors will get the chance to explore Wakehurst’s extensive woodland while enjoying its unique landscape as it blooms in spring - magnolias will be out in the Water Gardens and swathes of daffodils will be found on the Mansion Lawn. Children will also be able to climb, clamber and hop around Tree Trunk Trek, an adventurous log trail in Coates Wood with wooden stages to let imaginations run wild.

Kew Gardens, London, will also be hosting its own Gruffalo Easter programme

All the activities except the Easter Egg Hunt and Owl Pellet Dissection in the Millennium Seed Bank are free with entry to the gardens. Activities are priced at £4 each. A pop-up serving light snacks and refreshments will be available.

Adults, £14.50, young adults 17-25, £7.25 and children go free.

Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, is home to the Millennium Seed Bank and more than 500 acres of the world’s plants including temperate woodlands, ornamental gardens and a nature reserve. It is situated in the High Weald of Sussex, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and focuses on wild plant collections. The Millennium Seed Bank houses and protects seed from the world’s most substantial and diverse collection of threatened and useful wild plants, making it the most biodiverse place on Earth.

Wakehurst is about a two-hour drive from Newbury, so make a day of it.


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