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El Pinar del Rey, San Roque, has been ‘Magicked’ into a Fairy Forest

Soraya Fernández | Photos: ©Fran Montes, ReachExtra

A recent initiative by a woman in San Roque has seen the construction of fairy houses for children to find throughout the Pinar del Rey natural park. It has proven to be a success and is a great option for families wanting to spend the day outdoors with their little ones during the autumn season.

Pinar del Rey Fairy Forest Elisabet Domínguez San Roque

The Pinar del Rey National park in San Roque has been transformed into a “forest of the fairies” thanks to Elisabet Domínguez, of Puente Mayorga, who was encouraged by her children to place fairy houses in the trees for kids to find. It started with four, and now there are dozens, with more and more people joining the initiative – to the delight of local children.

Pinar del Rey Fairy Forest Elisabet Domínguez San Roque

The Covid-19 lockdowns in Spain has brought out the creative genius in many people. We have learned to enjoy our homes and family time more, and the situation has also highlighted the importance of the outdoors. So, what better way to enjoy the autumn than to head out to Pinar del Rey with the little ones to do something a little bit different this year, surrounded by nature.

“It wasn’t an original idea on my part. During the lockdown, a friend of ours shared a post on Facebook about this initiative. They did it in a pine forest in Puerto Real, which my boy and I found quite interesting, but since we were in lockdown, we did not act on it. The a few weeks ago, during a windy afternoon when we couldn’t go to the beach, nor stroll on the street due to the heat, I took my children to the countryside and we collected twigs. When we got home, we wondered what we could do with them; and my son remembered those little houses so we got down to work and put the houses in trees over the weekend. The kids decided where they would go”, Domínguez told ReachExtra.

Pinar del Rey Fairy Forest Elisabet Domínguez San Roque

The kids were unsure whether to leave the fairy houses there because they were worried someone might damage them or take them away. “I told them that if that did happen, we would just put up more. First we placed five houses, and then five more. We were surprised by the amount of interest this generated on Facebook and people started looking for the little houses. Now many people have joined in and are putting up their own fairy houses: I’ve seen people building them there and then and just leaving them”, Domínguez said.

Pinar del Rey Fairy Forest Elisabet Domínguez San Roque

There is now so much interest in this project that Elisabet constantly receives friend requests on Facebook and parents ask her where the fairy houses are located so that they can take their children. “I never would have thought that this would become so successful”, she added.

One thing to remember is that these houses are all made from natural materials; sticks from the fields which are painted with watercolours; so when it rains, these will degrade naturally.

Pinar del Rey Fairy Forest Elisabet Domínguez San Roque

This new game provides great stimulation for kids; encouraging their creativity and creating teamwork which brings them closer to nature and away from phones, tablets and computers for a few hours. “I’m really happy with the experience. My children are now longing to visit Pinar del Rey so that they can find more houses, since they already know where we put ours. It is also a great way to bring our children closer to nature”.

So, now it is time to head out and begin the search. ReachExtra designed an itinerary which outlines where you can find the houses built by Elisabet and her children:

Where to find them

Pinar del Rey Fairy Forest Elisabet Domínguez San Roque
  1. – In the waterfall, in a grassy tree.
  2. – There is another one on the river path to the first recreational area, before going up the sandy slope.
  3. – The third is in the first recreational area, in the second entrance to the pine forest, past the garbage containers and to the left.
  4. – Another is on the way to the large recreational area, along the cobblestone path, halfway up and on the right, inside the wooden fence.
  5. – The fifth can be found in the first recreational area past the sandy road. There is a tree there with a rope loop.
  6. – In the upper recreation area, next to the sign and at the very end you will find another.
  7. In the same area, passing the zip line, next to the table with the wooden floor is one more.
  8. The eighth is in the descent from the recreation area towards the back of the football ground, in a tree behind the railing.
  9. The last one placed by Elisabet and her children is in the field in front of the exit of the recreation area, in a tree next to a small door.

But there are many more, it is just a question of patience as we embark on an adventure that children will not forget. What are you waiting for?

What do you think?