Fairy sanctuary in North Yorkshire woodland opens its doors

An offgrid woodland fairy sanctuary has opened in North Yorkshire.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 5:09 pm
Fairy houses in the trees at Northwood Trail - Pic: Lamorna Roberts

Northwood Trail, believed to be England’s first woodland fairy sanctuary, is located in the tiny village of Buttercrambe, ten miles South-East of Malton.

The sanctuary is also home to a captivating fairy museum, the collection of Professor Howland, created especially for Northwood.

Nestled in a 100 acre of woodland, the fairy sanctuary, created by Christian and Carolyn Van Outersterp, is designed to delight adults as well as children.

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Fairy houses in the trees at Northwood Trail - Pic: Lamorna Roberts

“With four children of our own we have long been appalled by the quality of many attractions and we have always disliked the patronising of children.” explained Carolyn.

“Who laid down the rule that anything designed to appeal to children should be garish, naff and plastic? In our experience children have a huge capacity to appreciate nature, beauty and intricacy, so we have created a trail of the imagination with storytelling at its heart.”

This new venture is about fostering a connection with nature, at its most beautiful and magical. The woodland trail winds through 1.5km of old fairy paths, peppered with fairy tree houses, stump houses, a willow walled maze and Elven thrones.

As a former Landscape Architect, Christian had strong ideas about the development of the trail. “We wanted to be sensitive to this special place, it wasn’t a case of arrogantly imposing our will and ideas on to the woods, but rather teasing out what is already there and working with the land to create something deeply respectful and truly magical.”

Grace and Charlotte in the Chamber of Truth and Justice - Pic: Lamorna Roberts

Northwood Kitchen, a chic rustic Eatery, a stylish woodland kitchen will be serving organic teas and coffees as well as healthy and delicious local food. In keeping with the sustainable ethos, work is underway to develop a biodynamic woodland garden to eventually supply the kitchen.

The Van Outersterps trained in fashion and landscape architecture and the family have been

Custodians of the woodland since 2008. Eldest daughter Galatea, a writer and illustrator, is the creative mind behind bringing Professor Howland and his work to life.

Tickets for the attraction, which is just a 50 minute drive from Scarborough, are available to buy online at www.northwoodtrail.co.uk.

The fairy doors are a delight to discover - Pic: Lamorna Roberts
Professor Howland's desk - Pic: Lamorna Roberts