Garvagh People’s Forest project was well and truly launched over two weeks of events that took place in the Garvagh area in partnership with the Big Telly theatre group.
This included ‘resident artists’ in a number of shops and cafes including Bell’s Supermarket and McAtamney’s in Garvagh, Costcutter’s in Glenullin and Cafe Mena in Kilrea.
“It was a bit of surprise finding a forest fairy in McAtamney’s on a Saturday morning asking me for a story but it certainly livened up the wait for my roast for the weekend, “ according to one customer.
The theme of stories continued to the Stone Soup Gathering at Garvagh Pyramid with a community barbecue, music, story-telling and poetry.
Catherine Kane from Garvagh Library opened the evening with the famous story of the Stone Soup with Dr John Kerr compering the rest of the night with music from Alicia Doherty, Niamh McAllister, Susan Green from the Hampsey Harpists and contributions from Mark Adams, Josh Archibald, Anne McMaster and Sharman Wilson.
The evening was brought to a close with the tasting of Garvagh Forest’s very own Stone Soup!
“It was such a lovely night. What a beautiful forest with the people, the music and the soup,” commented one participant.
The Festival ended with the Fairy Tales in the Forest, an interactive adventure walk through Garvagh Forest for all ages.
The idea was to help different fairy tale characters resolve some predicaments such as Little Red Riding Hood evade the wolf, the Mad Hatter resolve
the matter of the number of cups and saucers, the Queen of Hearts learn how to play croquet.
“We had an absolutely fantastic time!” concluded one family.
“I can’t think of enough good things to say. Myself, my husband and our two girls thoroughly enjoyed it. We are still trying to work out how the magic tricks worked and throwing water bombs at the witch was a winner!”.
Watch this space over the next few months as the story of the five-year Garvagh People’s Forest funded by the Big Lottery unfolds.
Claire Millar, Project Lead, said: “We want this project to connect to and make a difference to local people and the wider area through Garvagh Forest School, our Health & Well-Being programme, Creative Skills development and more community events including an annual Festival.
“We hope that in the next five years Garvagh Forest continues to grow as a space for creating new stories for ourselves, each other, our community and our natural world,” added Karin Eyben, Development Lead for the project.
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