Britain invaded by Gruffalos!

gruffalo forestry commision

News Flash: Britain is being invaded by Gruffalos!

June 7th readers is the date to write in your diary or circle on your calendar as that is the day The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson’s and Axel Scheffler’s adorable ogre turns 15.

gruffalo statues forestry commission

It is no big secret that we are HUGE fans of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child too, in fact we told you all about our visit to The Gruffalo Trail in Thorndon Park Essex last October and many of you have since been to visit and loved it as much as we did.

shy gruffalo forestry commission

Well when the Forestry Commision found out The Gruffalo was going to be celebrating his 15th this year they put some very special plans into action which are to be revealed all over the UK on his special day, June 7th.

gruffalo forestry commission

They asked Neil Bruce, the sculptor of the beautiful wooden sculptures in Thorndon Park, to sculpt another 15 statues in his honour and we were invited this weekend to a secret location to see Neil at work and help him out a little bit.

gruffalo statue forestry commission neil bruce

What an honour and I love secrets too.


We headed off to the secret location (kept secret because sadly there are people out there who want to sabotage the surprise) and this is what we found waiting, 4 Gruffalos inside almost ready for departure, 3 outside almost completed plus one to work on. Mission Gruffalo UK.

Note the massive uncut trunks standing next to the finished Gruffalo to get an idea of the mammoth task at hand but Neil is taking it all in his stride. He told me he’s not a sculptor by nature but works as a Forester (Not sure if that’s the right term) in Thorndon Park.  He created the trail and due to the enormous interest has now taken on this next job.

sleeping gruffalo


he has made each Gruffalo different to the next and included one who is fast asleep. He invited the children over to see him and there were huge shouts of ‘Wake up Gruffalo!’ but he was a very deep sleeper, even when they climbed on top of him.

gruffalo painting neil bruce forestry commission


Then Neil surprised us all as he handed out paint brushes and proper paint to the kids asking them to help paint him. The little people couldn’t believe their good luck and there was a lot of dipping brushes into the huge pot of paint, I even had a couple of goes myself, well you would wouldn’t you?

gruffalo painting


Our day was complimented with a proper Gruffalo tea party and that’s another thing, if you visit the Forestry Commision website you will be able to download a whole Birthday Party Picnic pack so you can celebrate his birthday too, what are you waiting for?

gruffalo cupcakes

gruffalo cupcakes



  1. May 12, 2014 / 11:36 AM

    They are totally epic, hope one ends up in a forest near us so we can go and visit! Love the Gruffalo!

    • May 12, 2014 / 9:57 PM

      You can find the list on the Forestry Commission site

  2. May 12, 2014 / 11:43 AM

    Oh wow, what an incredible day-my kids would love this!

    • May 12, 2014 / 9:58 PM

      It was excellent and I’m so happy the girls were able to take part

  3. May 12, 2014 / 12:46 PM

    Oh my such fun! I love that the kids got to paint one too! What a memorable experience :)

    • May 12, 2014 / 9:59 PM

      It was a fabulous day and the girls are even more in love with the Gruffalo if that was ever possible

  4. May 12, 2014 / 1:06 PM

    Now they look good!! How exciting that we will get to search through forests looking for … a gruffalo! Brilliant idea.

    • May 12, 2014 / 10:00 PM

      It is isn’t it? I loved this idea when we saw the trail back in October for the first time. I am so pleased they’re rolling it out over the country, it gives so many more families the chance to get in the woods

  5. May 12, 2014 / 1:42 PM

    I saw your photos on Facebook and was intrigued. Great to read all about the day.

    • May 12, 2014 / 10:01 PM

      Thanks Trish, it was such a great day I wanted to share as much as possible as I am sure many other mums and dads will want to visit

  6. May 12, 2014 / 5:50 PM

    These are fantastic…. hope we find them in our neck of the woods. I’m surprised this hasn’t been done before. How fun for children (and adults) to be able to find them in a wood.

  7. May 12, 2014 / 7:00 PM

    Ahh what a great day! The kids had so much fun painting the sleeping Gruffalo.

    • May 12, 2014 / 10:02 PM

      Yes and I’m on the lookout for new coats too! Never mind the experience was worth it

  8. May 12, 2014 / 7:13 PM

    How brilliant to be able to join in with painting one. Some very happy memories made that day I think!

    • May 12, 2014 / 10:02 PM

      Definitely, they were still talking about their experience at breakfast this morning and the Gruffalo will be our Show and Tell on Wednesday too

  9. May 12, 2014 / 7:21 PM

    Awww I LOVE those gruffalos! They are fabulous. What a great day you guys had!

  10. May 12, 2014 / 9:10 PM

    Oh wow he is so lifelike! Love your new blog makeover too!

    • May 12, 2014 / 10:04 PM

      Thank you Penny, it’s still a work in progress (the blog) but an enjoyable one and the Gruffalo is adorable, I’d like one for my back garden

  11. May 12, 2014 / 9:12 PM

    Wow, there fantastic! We’re huge Gruffalo fans here, in fact it was our bed time read tonight.

    • May 12, 2014 / 10:05 PM

      The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child have been favourites of ours for years and it’s such a fabulous experience to be able to see them being created

  12. May 12, 2014 / 10:08 PM

    I loved watching all this unfold as you posted it on Facebook – so absolutely fab!

  13. May 13, 2014 / 3:24 AM

    Oh my goodness! Those are BRILLIANT! Just gorgeous. What a talented guy, and how exciting that you got to be a part of it. Love that last photo too – cake! x

  14. May 13, 2014 / 3:33 AM

    15 wow! Love the Gruffalo and this looks all very exciting.

  15. May 13, 2014 / 6:21 PM

    now this is really nice! need to plan to go and visit when we come to UK.

  16. May 13, 2014 / 9:34 PM

    shhhhhh it’s still a top secret location!
    what a unique and lovely day we all had, noticed that you did get the adults nicking all the paint brushes *whistles*

  17. May 16, 2014 / 8:15 PM

    Wow these are juts awesome Mari! You lucky things, looked like you had a fabulous day x

  18. May 19, 2014 / 11:50 AM

    I remember first being read The Gruffalo by a class of Year 6 children soon after it was first published. That was pre-children for me and I still thought it was just one of the best kid’s books ever written! Not unsurprisingly both boys when they came along loved it and I can still recite much by heart. It is a classic and I love love love the sculptures!

    (found your blog on Love All Blogs – I am one above this post in Kids Activities!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.