YOUNGSTERS will be able to answer the call of the wild when the region's biggest woodland festival takes place this weekend.

Guisborough Forest will play host to the festival on Sunday when thousands of people are expected to descend on the beauty spot.

Australian bushcraft expert Sandra Jacob, who is one of 100 craftspeople, wildlife experts and entertainers taking part in the event, will be on hand to teach visitors how to to survive in the wild.

She went to work on a South African game reserve, where residents include lions, elephants and rhinos, before settling in Guisborough and working with less fearsome beasts as an outdoor expert at Acorn Antics, on a mission to introduce young and old to forest living and wildlife.

She said: “It might not be as exotic as Africa, but it’s still a fabulous environment and our forest school events are always a huge hit. I’ll show people a bushcraft skills like fire lighting which I’ve picked up over the years.”

And nature lovers will be getting more than they bargained for with show stopping debuts for ten foot tall butterflies that spring into life – all the remarkable creations of street theatre performers.

Forest ranger Neil Thirkell said: “We’re always trying to give people chance to try something new, whether its woodland skills, archery or raku pottery. The festival is a brilliant hands-on celebration of the great outdoors and an amazing family event.”

Now in its 14th year the event is organised by the Friends of Guisborough Forest and Walkway, with support from Redcar and Cleveland Council and the Forestry Commission.

Over that time it has become a showcase for rustic skills such as horse logging, coracle making, rope turning and bodging, along with firm favourites like birds of prey displays, climbing wall, archery, circus skills and local produce.

Gates open between 10am and 4pm and entry is £12 family ticket – two adults, two children, £4 adults and £3 children. Visitors can pay on the day, or buy tickets in advance at by searching for Guisborough Forest Festival.

There is a free park and ride bus service from Fountain Street car park on Rectory Lane, Guisborough, and yellow signed parking will be available at the Pinchinthorpe entrance to the forest.

For further details visit or call 01287-631132.