“As I walked through Andrew’s Wood at the beginning of Lockdown 1, I was struck by how the area had matured. They now form this idyllic trail, which gently meanders, through the overhanging woodland. We are so lucky to have it on our doorstep and I could not help thinking about the potential joy it could offer to children and families alike.
In essence, the idea of the fairy doors is to harness a natural environment that really encourages children to interact with nature all around us. Children have a huge capacity to appreciate nature, beauty and intricacy. The charm of this project is it also draws on a person’s imagination and creativity, which has potentially never been more important than it is now during these unprecedented times. A good walk can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. Sometimes, a walk in the woods is not just a walk in the woods. Sometimes, with a little imagination, you can feel like you are entering a different realm – a fictional, enchanting ‘other’ world. This will continue to be a place of serenity and calm, but also, at times, will be home to giggles of excitement, intrigue and sheer wonder. Visitors will be able to wander through the wood, sneaking a peak at hidden fairy homes in the trees and banks.”Lauren Colville
Paul Tucker (aka Barnsie) is the artist behind the Ashton Hayes Fairy Door Trail. He lives in Kelsall with his wife Jennie and their three beautiful daughters Scarlett, Poppy and Tilly. His family means the world to him, as does his beloved Liverpool FC. Before COVID-19 you would have often found him travelling Europe to watch live football games or enjoying a music festival with family and friends. This past year, his sporting activity has reached new heights with him recording hundreds of miles on his mountain bike. An experienced postman, you may well have seen Barnsie out and about around Frodsham and surrounding communities. His artistic talent, however, began to be realised as he took on responsibility for the set design at the big Janis Anderson School of Dancing shows. This inspired a long lost passion for graphic design away from a computer screen. Since then, he has taken on many impressive projects. The latest and biggest formed part of Blakemere’s Christmas Spectacular. One of Barnsie’s stand out features is the way he uses reclaimed pieces of wood and recycles them as part of his artwork. If you would like to see more of his work or request a commission piece then please search for his page on Facebook @BarnsiesBrushStrokz or click the link below.
The Fairy Doors trail can be found in Andrew’s Wood and was installed in March 2021. Public access to Andrew’s Wood has been generously permitted by the landowner. Please observe the rules whilst visiting and stay on the paths at all times.
How many fairy doors can you spot? Here is a small selection to whet your appetite.
Barnsie was resolute from the beginning that this would deliberately be a place of minimal human intervention where natural features of the woodland form an integral part of the experience. We spent some time together researching ways to secure them without harming the trees, as this was very important for us both. This is why each door is unique even down to the way they are installed. Barnsie and I have developed a real passion for the project, which we hope, will be evident to everyone who visits.
It is hoped the Fairy Doors will be along lasting feature of Andrew’s Wood. To help us ensure that is the case can everyone who visits please be vigilant and if you notice any problems/damage etc let us know staright away so we can sort things out. You can contact us at email@example.com. Thank you and we hope you get as much enjoyment out of visiting the wood as we all have in designing and creating the trail.