A new interactive story trail from Read Manchester and the National Literacy Trust has launched this week at Wythenshawe Park. The trail has arrived in time for half-term and is the perfect activity to get children reading for pleasure with their families.
This exciting trail, which takes about 30 minutes to complete, follows a bespoke story written and illustrated by Mancunian Ian Morris. Ian is the illustrator of The Library Book, written by Gabby Dawnay and published by Thames & Hudson. Families will journey around Wythenshawe Park solving literacy clues as they go while ultimately discovering that reading is an activity that can be enjoyed together.
At the end of the trail families will find a Little Free Library where they can pick up a free book to take home with them. The Little Free Library has been created by Manchester Library Trail and a group of local volunteers and has been designed in the shape of Wythenshawe Hall.
Read Manchester has gifted over 75,000 books since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and has worked with over 100 local community groups to reach those families most in need. This new trail, which has been created in partnership with Manchester Library Trail as well as Manchester City Council and Mantec Engineering, ensures that families will be able to take home a book after enjoying a visit to their local park.
Ian Morris, writer and illustrator of the Wythenshawe Park Story Trail, said: “I’m so excited to be working alongside Read Manchester to create this brilliant story trail for children and families and Wythenshawe! I hope the trail helps local children to discover and nurture a love of reading that will stay with them forever.”
Mike Leyland, Senior Project Manager at the National Literacy Trust, says: “Ian has created an engaging story that will take families on a wonderful adventure around their local park – all while reinforcing the benefits of reading together. We are proud to be working in partnership with Manchester City Council and Mantec Engineering to deliver a community activity that highlights the value of family literacy in an enjoyable way.”
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member Neighbourhoods, says: "What could be better at the start of half term than an activity that combines fresh air and exercise in one of our wonderful parks with a fun, yet educational twist. “This is a fabulous trail, a beautifully illustrated booklet and I am sure it will appeal to children, parents and carers alike and the added bonus of a free book for families to enjoy reading at home - what's not to like. I hope lots of families take advantage of this, whatever the weather."
Peter Ford, owner and Managing Director of Mantec Engineering, says: “We are delighted to be supporting the National Literacy Trust and Read Manchester with the creation of this Wythenshawe Park Story Trail. The trail is a brilliant way of sparking an early love of reading in children and we hope families will enjoy this unique way of spending time together in the park.”
The trail runs from Monday 25 October and booklets are available for families to pick up from The Courtyard café during opening hours.
A digital version of the trail can be downloaded here.