Augmented reality Gruffalo trail launches in forest

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail returns to Thetford Forest. 

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail returns to Thetford Forest. - Credit: Tom Donald

Venture into the deep dark wood this summer as children's book The Gruffalo is brought to life like never before. 

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail is running at the High Lodge in Thetford Forest and new augmented reality (AR) app Gruffalo Spotter 2 mixes animated characters with the real world environment. 

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail. 

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail. - Credit: Tom Donald

The Gruffalo is a best-selling picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. 

On the self-led trail, children will able to respond to instructions such as waving, stomping, flying, dancing and roaring, which will then trigger the AR characters to magically come to life and interact with them.

Through cutting-edge face and body recognition technology, they will look at your little ones directly and encourage them to play along.

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail.

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail. - Credit: Tom Donald

These moments can also be recorded for families to revisit and share later using the #GruffaloSpotters hashtag.

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail is back in Thetford Forest by popular demand with a new and improved app and Forestry England partnered with Magic Light Pictures and Nexus Studios on the project. 

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail. 

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail. - Credit: Tom Donald

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The trail is packed with interesting facts about forest animals with fun activities to complete, including rubbings and interactive tasks on some of the panels. 

Jodie Buhlemann, operations manager at High Lodge, Forestry England, said: “This is such an exciting development and will deliver a completely different forest experience for our visitors.

"The Gruffalo is a much-loved story and to be able to once again bring the characters to life in their natural setting is fantastic.

"We’re thrilled to be bringing the two worlds of technology and nature together again with this new app!”

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail.

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail. - Credit: Tom Donald

The Gruffalo Spotter 2 app is available for free from the App Store and Google Play and requires downloading before your visit.

A Gruffalo Spotters trail pack will be available to buy on site, which includes an activity leaflet full of fun facts and activities, a Gruffalo Mask and paws, a nature spotters game and stickers, as well as a crayon and pencil.

Colin Davis, executive producer, interactive arts, at Nexus Studios, said: “The team at Nexus Studios are massive fans of The Gruffalo and we're really excited to be able to bring the iconic characters to life in the forest through the magic of augmented reality."

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