Armed with a foraging bag and a pair of wellies, we set off into a very wet, deep, dark, wood in search of the Gruffalo’s Child.

The popular character, created by author Julia Donaldson, is the inspiration behind a fun new family trail at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood, as part of the tenths anniversary of The Gruffalo’s Child book, and the 15th anniversary of its predecessor The Gruffalo.

Following arrows, we made our way on a mile-long trek through the trees answering questions, taking part in activities and learning more about the forest around us on our way.

The foraging bag even came in handy for collecting examples of forest foods nibbled by animals, and gathering woodland items with which to make a Gruffalo-inspired collage or an animal shelter.

Wet and cold we may have been, but that didn’t stop the children – and indeed myself and my husband – enjoying ourselves.

The trail’s accompanying activity pack costs £2 and also includes a colouring-in sheet and a special Gruffalo’s sticker, and we also had to keep our eyes peeled for coloured discs hanging in the trees, each featuring a different letter, to fill in another activity sheet and spell out the mystery word.

My two girls, aged seven and four, particularly enjoyed looking out for evidence of forest creatures and finding out more about the natural world around them as it prepares for winter.

The trail is the latest initiative organised by the Forestry Commission England in conjunction with Magic Light Pictures, and follows the success of this year’s Gruffalo’s Forest Tour, when more than 10,000 children met the Gruffalo and hundreds of thousands took part in activity trails throughout England’s forests.

Moors Valley is joining 23 other Forestry Commission forests across England to host the self-led Gruffalo’s Child activity trail from now until February 22.

Katie Davies, countryside interpretation ranger at Moors Valley, said: “Many families discovered the wide range of activities we have on offer at Moors Valley for the first time this year – when they came to meet the Gruffalo or visit his new sculpture.

“Now the park will provide the perfect winter woodland setting for another family adventure as the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the wild snowy night.”

Later this winter, a carved wooden sculpture of The Gruffalo’s Child will join the existing Gruffalo sculpture in the wild woods at Moors Valley.

For more information go to or call the Rangers on 01425 470721.