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Narnia trail opens at new Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Nature Reserve

PUBLISHED: 19:12 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 05:56 28 June 2017

Narnia trail opens at new Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Nature Reserve

Narnia trail opens at new Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Nature Reserve

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has been brought to life at the newly designated Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Nature Reserve

Iconic characters from CS Lewis’ classic children’s tale The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have been brought to life at an enchanting new Narnia themed nature trail at Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Nature Reserve.

Thought to be the first of its kind in the country, visitors can meet Aslan the Lion, spot Lucy Pevensey waiting by the lamppost and even walk through the wardrobe entrance to Narnia, complete with hanging coats.

The trail, installed by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Greenspaces team with permission from The CS Lewis Company Ltd, was officially opened by the Mayor of Reigate & Banstead, Cllr Roger Newstead on Thursday June 22.

“Children will be able to step through the wardrobe and discover characters from CS Lewis’s famous book, while also discovering the site’s wonderful flora and fauna”, says Cllr Dr Lynne Hack, deputy leader and executive member for environment.

“Chipstead Downs and Banstead Woods boast some of the finest views in the North Downs and is already popular with ramblers, dog walkers and nature lovers.”

The figures have been carved from standing deadwood by talented chainsaw sculptor Ella from The Tree Pirates, making use of the site’s own existing natural resources. It is hoped that more sculptures will be added over the coming months as funding becomes available.

The launch event also marked Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs’ designation as a Local Nature Reserve – the first in the borough for 15 years - for its ancient woodland and rare chalk grassland habitats and species which are in significant decline nationally.

Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs has a long and fascinating history. It was alluded to in the Domesday Book 1086 and has been in the ownership of Kings and Queens of England, Knights of the Realm, the founder of Barings Bank and many other interesting people over the years.

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Getting there:

Start the Narnia walk at Holly Lane car park, Holly Lane, Banstead, Surrey CR5 3NR

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