Free fairy door trail returns to nature reserve near Norwich

Ruthie Collins, writer and educator, with one of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow.

Ruthie Collins, writer and educator, with one of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Explore the great outdoors with your little ones and follow a magical and interactive fairy door trail.

You can take a walk with the fairies at Cary's Meadow nature reserve in Thorpe St Andrew from now until the summer, giving families the opportunity to connect with nature. 

Two-year-old Slinki with one of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow.

Two-year-old Slinki with one of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Visitors can download a beautifully illustrated map, created by Norfolk illustrator Joe Fear, and each door unlocks a poem or story inspired by the natural world. 

These are written by local children as part of Arts Council England supported project Natural Wonder, run by writer and curator Ruthie Collins.

One of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow.

One of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow. - Credit: Denise Bradley

The interactive art installation first launched at Christmas, but due to the storms in February the doors had to be temporarily removed.

The doors have now returned featuring new designs made by members of social enterprise Norwich Men's Shed using reclaimed wood.

The map, found by scanning the QR code at the entrance gate, of the trail of fairy doors at Cary's Meadow.

The map, found by scanning the QR code at the entrance gate, of the trail of fairy doors at Cary's Meadow. - Credit: Denise Bradley

This community project is also supported by the Broads Authority. 

Two of the new fairy doors can be found near "reptile hotels" on Cary’s Meadow, with piles of rubble and grass to encourage wildlife.

One of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow.

One of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow. - Credit: Denise Bradley

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Ruthie Collins, project creator, said: “It is so wonderful to see the doors return, people are really excited and we know little ones are looking forward to enjoying them.

“They are a great way to support awareness of wildlife habitats and biodiversity, plus give communities a lift to the spirits.

One of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow.

One of the fairy doors on the trail at Cary's Meadow. - Credit: Denise Bradley

"It is also just fun to enjoy literature in a fresh way. All the children worked hard on their creative writing and we are really excited to see new poems and stories from Henderson Green Primary appearing this spring.”

There is also a Spring Art Prize open to children in Norfolk aged from two up to 11 to take part in, where youngsters are tasked with creating an art piece inspired by the fairies that might live inside the doors.

Email photos of entries to ruthie@ruthiecollins.co.uk by May 27, with the first 20 entries eligible for a spring treat.

To download the map visit wondernatural.co.uk/projects/the-fairy-door-trail or scan the QR code at the gate when you enter Cary’s Meadow, with free parking too.