PHOTO GALLERY: Thousands of people visit 11th Fairy Fair at Holt Hall

Thousands of fairies fluttered their way around a north Norfolk woodland today (Sunday) as part of a magical two-day event to learn about nature.

With a pinch of fairy dust and a liberal amount of mud-pies the 11th annual Fairy Fair spread its wings among the gardens surrounding Holt Hall.

Organised by the Norfolk-based Fairyland Trust, the national charity aims to inspire and teach children about British wildlife and make conservation fun.

Abbie Panks from the Trust said: 'The event itself is a medley of vibrancy and energy. It's not just the children who enjoy it and have a great time but also the adults - they embrace it too.'

All the activities were held in the Trust's medieval-style tents or outside in the woods.


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And there were plenty of activities on hand to tickle youngsters' taste buds, including a visit from the 2010 MasterChef runner-up Dr Tim Kinnaird who returned to assist with the Cooking For Trolls stall.

Phil Degregorio, who helped children to create mud-pies, sawdust chips, and autumn leaf salads, emphasised that the fair allowed children to learn how to play with their imagination.

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'The kids come and do stuff with nothing,' he said.

'They make things with what they find, free things, and turn them into what they want - no computers needed. Everyone can be a bit creative and get mucky. It's all about using your hands and letting kids be kids.'

And it was not just an event for the children, even adults dressed-up as part of the fun and for the first time this year were able to take part in the hugely popular Fairy Crown workshop to fashion their very own royal headgear.

Among them were Maisy, eight, Freya-Lily, six, and Cayden, four, from Staffordshire whose mum Rachel Heslop said the fair was 'fantastic' at getting the children interacting.

The 41-year-old added: 'My family grew up in Blakeney and we saw the fair advertised and thought it looked really interesting.

'It's allowed the children to use their imagination and to meet other people enjoying nature.'

Excited youngsters followed trails and made things which taught them the names and folklore behind the trees and flowers around them at the stately manor home.

Visitors also enjoy storytelling sessions, woodland walks, a pirate fete, a trolls march and the popular Bug Bazaar.

Events for grown-ups included a craft market, food traders and a beer tent serving award winning local tipples.

Miss Panks added: 'Ultimately this is all about getting children outdoors. We've brought the fair to more than 70,000 children and their families now and we want to make it more.'

The sold-out event will see around 5,000 visit the fair this year.

? For more information about the Fairyland Trust and to get details about their Halloween event on October 27 and 28 please visit www.fairylandtrust.org.

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