New trail delights visitors to Sunderland park - here's how to find the hidden magic
An historic city park has been sprinkled with magic thanks to a new Fairy Trail.
Much work has been done lately to enhance Backhouse Park in Ashbrooke with litter picks, planting and improved signage. Now, visitors young and old have been enchanted by a Fairy Trail.
The trail starts near the Ryhope Road entrance to the park and people can follow the clues to find fairy homes hanging from trees, as well as tiny doors tucked into spaces at ground level.
There’s even some eco-friendly glitter on the pathways to help you find the fairies.
Daniel Krzyszczak one of the East Rangers who help look after the park, said: “Last year I visited Loch Lomond in Scotland and they had a Fairy Trail. It was much bigger and must have taken a long time, but it really inspired me and I thought it would be a great idea for Backhouse Park.
"So I approached the council and everyone else I could to make it happen.”
The tiny homes, doorways and signs were made by The Box CNC Woodworking as well as volunteers from East Rangers Kasia Cieslak, Agnieszka Cielecka and Marius Sinkunas, who are also part of ICOS (International Community Organisation of Sunderland).
Just a few days after the trail was installed, it’s already capturing people’s imaginations.
Daniel added: “The feedback has been amazing and everyone is really enjoying it. I was there with a Scout group on Saturday and they really enjoyed finding all the doors.
"I just really hope it stays and that people will look after it.”
The rangers are also working closely with the new owners of Ashburne House which, after being used for education since the 1930s, is a private residence once more after being bought as a family home by city property developer Henry Kirtley who is sympathetically restoring the building while honouring its history.
An historically-significant building in the city, the house was built for the remarkable Backhouse family, who between them were prominent bankers, industrialists, Quakers, scientists, artists – and founders of the Sunderland Echo.
The almost century-old park is named after the family who gifted the land, once the gardens to their home, to the Corporation of Sunderland in 1922.