Published Tuesday, 19th September 2017

The infamous ‘White Witch’ has joined Aslan the lion, Lucy Pevensey and the iconic wardrobe at the Council’s magical Narnia nature trail at Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Local Nature Reserve.

The White Witch is the imposing new addition to the trail, thought to be the first of its kind in the country, which brings to life popular characters from the children’s classic tale ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’.

Cllr Hack and sculptor Ella Fielding with the Narnia trail's latest addition, the White WitchVisitors can also come face to face with the majestic Aslan the lion, spot Lucy Pevensey waiting by the lamppost and even walk through the wardrobe ‘entrance to Narnia’, complete with hanging coats.

Making open spaces fun

“The White Witch is a fantastic new addition to our magical Narnia trail, so we now have the lion, the witch and the wardrobe! Her towering figure strikes an impressive pose in the surrounding woodland and children can hide amongst her wooden den-like ‘skirts’," says Cllr Dr Lynne Hack, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment.

“This unique trail gives visitors the chance to discover the wonderful characters from C S Lewis’s famous book, while finding out about the site’s wonderful flora and fauna. We hope that it will encourage more people, particularly children and families, to explore and enjoy this wonderful site. It’s all part of our work to encourage healthy lifestyles through making our open spaces more accessible, fun and educational.”

The enchanting figures have been carved from standing deadwood by talented chainsaw sculptor Ella Fielding of The Tree Pirates, making use of the site’s existing natural resources. Carved way-marker posts of native plants and animals, from which children can take rubbings, mark out the route.

The trail takes about half an hour to complete and is largely pushchair friendly - but there are some gravel paths and steep inclines.

Installed by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Greenspaces team with permission from The CS Lewis Company Ltd, the trail first opened earlier this summer with the promise of more statues as funding became available.

Local nature reserve

It’s Installation marked Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs’ designation a Local Nature Reserve – the first in the borough for 15 years – to afford greater protection to its Ancient Woodland and rare chalk grassland habitats which are in significant decline nationally.

  • The Narnia nature trail at Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Local Nature Reserve is located at Holly Lane car park, Holly Lane, Banstead, Surrey CR5 3NR