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A lantern festival designed to inspire children with the magic of the woodland

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 08, 2012

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Inspired schoolchildren helped to illuminate a Westcountry woodland in a spectacular lantern festival.

Hundreds of people packed into Pullabrook Wood in the Bovey Valley to enjoy the annual procession on Saturday evening.

The Yarner 60 Lanterns and Lights event on Dartmoor was hosted by Natural England and the Woodland Trust, and provided an opportunity to showcase the youngsters' work. Around 500 people attended the ant-themed event to celebrate the 60 years of the National Nature Reserves.

Organisers had been working with local schools to create fluorescent shapes depicting woodland bugs, as well as lanterns which hold tea lights. They held classroom projects in Bovey Tracey and Okehampton to develop the artwork.

The lanterns were made from paper and were projected by candlelight as the procession went through the forest.

Visitors were also encouraged to bring their own lanterns and other woodland-inspired art as they followed the trail into the heart of the reserve.

Dave Rickwood, Woodland Trust site manager for Devon, said: "The lantern festival was a huge success, especially considering the appalling weather beforehand which made it logistically difficult."

The trust runs a Nature Detective Programme in the hope of attracting children to explore areas of woodland.

Mr Rickwood said: "We want to inspire children to explore the diversity of the woodland and get into the nature reserve"

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