Goblin Hunting

Becoming a goblin expert
Lydia Dayes

The Easter holidays certainly challenged us with all the weather Mother Nature could throw at us. Thankfully native goblins don't bother about cold, wet and boggy conditions. In fact, they love them! 

A massive thank you to all the adventurous goblin finders who came out and joined our alternative Easter activities this half term. We were lucky enough travel the landscape with the world goblin expert, Professor Jigget, to see these rare creatures up close and personal!

First things first, goblins are pretty hard to see in everyday life. in fact, some people question if they truly exist! Which is why mere wildlife folk like me can't simply rock up and find these mischievous beasties to show you. No, you need a true goblin expert to harness all the excited energy from the children who attended and turn it into the most powerful magical freezing spell known to humble muggles like us! Prof. Jigget and the children didn't disappoint on all three occasions, freezing goblins of all different ages! In fact, the children at our Salford goblin event cast such a powerful spell they even froze active fairy doors in place! Amazing!

Once the magic was done the search was on! Kids with eyes wide open explored these wonderful wild spaces looking for any signs of magic. The thing is, magic is all around us, you don't have to look hard for it. Much of our folk-law heritage teaches us about the natural environment. How to identify trees, what fungi are good for us and which habitats might be a bit too dangerous to roam alone, you just have to know the stories and read between the lines.

As we explored Prof. Jigget explained the reasons why gods chose bored squirrels to bury seeds and why holly, elder and willows are so magical. I could only marvel at how many children were hypnotised by the stories and how many lovely adults were learning brand new facts about our wonderful natural environment. Moments like this is what this project is all about, seeing 'boring' overgrown wild spaces in a new light and seeing the true magic in the wildlife that lives all around us.

Once enough goblins were found and our feet were tired, our goblin finding events came to an end. Ever the conservationist Prof. Jigget never removes the goblins from their habitat but shows the children one more time up close (but not close enough to catch goblin warts!) then releases these mystical creatures back into the wild.

Our landscape is so fortunate to have such a clear wildlife corridor running north, south. Although it's not perfect, finding these goblins across the landscape has definitely shown us wildlife, mystical or not is moving between our towns and these hidden wild spaces are the key to their survival. I only hope that children now revisit these wild spaces or go out to other wild spaces looking for goblins to see what they can find, the future needs goblin experts after all!

Watch this space for more events to bring out the magic and imagination and show you a new wild space you might never have visited before!

A big thank you to Yan Tan Tethera and Shed Loads of Love for their support towards these events!