18 April 2016
This is a special year for Beatrix Potter fans: the 150th anniversary of the birth of the much-loved children’s author and illustrator. As part of the celebrations, Essex Wildlife Trust is introducing the Peter Rabbit™ Woodland Trail, at their Langdon visitor centre and nature reserve, near Basildon.
The trail comprises six beautiful, solid wood sculptures of Potter characters, placed along an all-weather path, on this beautiful reserve of woods, meadows, lakes and hills. They are of Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Squirrel Nutkin, Tommy Brock and Jemima Puddle-Duck.
We aim to use the popularity of Potter’s characters to introduce children to nature. Potter was no mere author; a business woman, botanist and conservationist, she was fiercely protective of her beloved Lake District and its wildlife. This vision is carried on by Essex Wildlife Trust, maintaining a range of habitats throughout Essex, and across the country by The Wildlife Trusts. It is essential that young people engage with nature and green space, for mental and physical growth, but also to ensure they have an appreciation of the important role nature plays in our lives.
The sculptures were installed for Easter and the trail is open. The official launch of the trail is on Sunday 1 May, with crafts, games, quizzes and activities. Special launch trail packs, with map, quiz, puzzle and keepsake character bag, will be available for £4, while stocks last. The trail quiz will change regularly, introducing elements of Potter’s stories and characters, along with fun facts about the wildlife they represent.