Friday, 6 March 2015

Airy Fairies?


Quite a debate seems to be building up about a proliferation of 'fairy doors' in Wayford woods near Crewkerne in Somerset (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/04/fairies-fairy-doors-wayford-woods-somerset). The 'doors' apparently started to appear in this location about 25 years ago but conservationists are concerned about damage (some doors are screwed or hammered into trees and bluebells are trampled by children dashing around in their search for them). Others think the doors have positive influences including getting children enthusiastic about walking in woodland (healthy exercise) and creating a 'sense of wonder'. Balance seems all important here as too much intrusion into areas is not a good idea but one would like children to grow to value the 'natural' environment (including woodlands). There is (said the old grump) a bit of disneyfication about this phenomenon. Will the 'joy' outlast childhood? Are there any plans to try to extend the 'wonder' by educating the children about the true importance of woods?

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Pat Bateson

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