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Launch of new Stick Man Trail at the National Memorial Arboretum

On Saturday 23 March, families are invited to kick off their Easter holiday, at a special opening celebration for a brand-new FREE Stick Man outdoor trail at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, within the National Forest.

The new, free mile-long trail will feature five new carved wooden characters, encouraging younger visitors to complete activities exploring the wildlife, nature, and the stories they find.

The Stick Man Celebration Day, featuring free indoor screenings of The Stick Man adaptation, themed arts and crafts, and music making inspired by the book, will ensure that visitors will enjoy a full day at the Arboretum immersed in the world of Julia Donaldson’s classic children’s tale.

The journey back to the Family Tree

From a twig for a nest to a mast for a flag, the brand-new Stick Man trail will follow the adventures of The Stick Man as he tries to get home to his Family Tree. Opening on 23 March, visitors will be able to pick up a free self-led trail sheet on arrival at the Welcome Desk, and head out into the Arboretum to explore the new trail.

“Our original Stick Man trail has proven to be a huge family-favourite, with thousands of visitors exploring the route since it opened in 2019,” explains Rachel Smith, Head of Participation and Learning at the National Memorial Arboretum. “This new trail is longer, more interactive than ever, and features stunning woodcarvings that will really capture the imagination of our visitors as they follow The Stick Man’s journey back to his Family Tree. We’d love for fans of The Stick Man young and old to join us at the Arboretum for our full day of free activities to celebrate the opening of the new trail, a fantastic way to start the Easter holidays!”

Free Stick Man celebration activities – Saturday 23 March

Families are invited to the Arboretum on Saturday 23 March to be the first to explore the new Stick Man trail and participate in a day of The Stick Man themed activities to celebrate the opening. Highlights include:

  • The Stick Man Indoor Screenings (10am-4pm, booking recommended)
    The Stick Man adaptation will be shown throughout the day. Limited spaces are available for each session so visitors should book their free tickets online in advance to ensure entry at their preferred time slot.
  • Music making sessions (hourly from 11am)
    Visitors are encouraged to listen out for the hum of bees, singing birds and the wind blowing around the Arboretum, before joining in music making sessions to create a soundtrack to spring using instruments from around the world.
  • The Stick Man arts & crafts (11am-3pm)
    Using creative skills and imagination, younger visitors can make The Stick Man-themed items to take home

“At the National Memorial Arboretum, we share the incredible stories of those who have served and sacrificed for our country in many different ways, from the 400-plus memorials in the gardens and woodlands, to our changing exhibition and events programme,” explains Rachel. “One of our key ambitions is to pass on this baton of Remembrance to the next generation, and The Stick Man trail is a wonderful way to introduce young children and their families to the Arboretum. Along the trail, they will also encounter some of these memorials and stories and, as their families grow, we look forward to welcoming them back to the Arboretum many times to explore more about our shared history and to commemorate those who lost their lives in service.”

The new Stick Man trail is a permanent addition to the Arboretum and can be enjoyed by visitors all year round. There will be additional The Stick Man music, art and craft activities throughout the Easter holidays for families wanting to plan a day out with friends and family. The Arboretum also features two outdoor plays areas, a picnic area and a selection of treats, drinks and hot meals are available in The Restaurant and Coffee Shop.

For more information about the new Stick Man trail at the Arboretum and the opening celebrations on Saturday 23 March: www.thenma.org.uk/stick-man-celebration

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