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Discovering the Stick Man Trail at the National Memorial Arboretum


Jun 24, 2024 #Stickman

Nestled in the heart of Staffordshire, England, the National Memorial Arboretum is renowned for its serene landscape, poignant memorials, and its unique ability to merge nature with remembrance. Among its many attractions, the Stick Man Trail stands out as a particularly delightful experience for families and children, blending adventure, education, and the timeless charm of Julia Donaldson’s beloved children’s book, “Stick Man.”

The Trail’s Inspiration

The Stick Man Trail is inspired by the popular children’s story “Stick Man,” authored by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The story follows Stick Man on an adventurous journey as he tries to return to his family tree. The book’s engaging narrative and whimsical illustrations have captivated the hearts of children and parents alike, making it an ideal foundation for an interactive outdoor trail.

Trail Experience

Launched as part of a collaboration between the Forestry Commission and Magic Light Pictures, the Stick Man Trail offers an immersive experience that brings the story to life. As visitors embark on the trail, they encounter various themed activities and play areas that echo key scenes from the book. From the “Find the Stick Family” challenge to the “Make Your Own Stick Man” craft station, each activity is designed to engage children’s imaginations and encourage a love for nature.

The trail is thoughtfully designed to be accessible for all ages, with clearly marked paths and engaging, hands-on activities that promote physical activity and creativity. Children are encouraged to collect natural materials, solve puzzles, and interact with the environment, fostering a deeper connection with nature and the story.

Educational Benefits

Beyond the fun and excitement, the Stick Man Trail provides significant educational benefits. It serves as a practical introduction to the natural world, helping children learn about different types of trees, plants, and wildlife. The trail’s interactive elements teach environmental stewardship, emphasizing the importance of caring for nature.

The educational panels along the trail also highlight the story’s themes of perseverance, family, and community, offering valuable life lessons in an accessible format. By engaging with the story and the environment, children develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and a sense of empathy.

Enhancing Family Time

One of the most compelling aspects of the Stick Man Trail is its ability to bring families together. In an age where digital entertainment often dominates leisure time, the trail provides a refreshing alternative that encourages outdoor activity and quality family interaction. Parents and children can bond over shared tasks, create lasting memories, and enjoy the beauty of the arboretum together.

Practical Information

The Stick Man Trail is open year-round, offering a unique experience in every season. Visitors can enjoy the vibrant colors of spring, the lush greenery of summer, the crisp air and falling leaves of autumn, and the serene, frosty landscape of winter. The trail is well-signposted, and maps are available at the arboretum’s visitor center.

For those planning a visit, the National Memorial Arboretum provides ample facilities, including a café, picnic areas, and restrooms. The arboretum is wheelchair accessible, and there are options for guided tours and educational workshops, making it a versatile destination for visitors of all ages and abilities.


The Stick Man Trail at the National Memorial Arboretum offers a magical blend of storytelling, nature, and family fun. It is more than just a walk through the woods; it is an adventure that educates, entertains, and inspires. For families seeking a meaningful and memorable outdoor experience, the Stick Man Trail is a must-visit destination that celebrates the beauty of nature and the power of storytelling.

By admin