IF you take a stroll through the deep, dark wood of Grizedale Forest from next weekend - chances are you will chance upon the Gruffalo.

From Friday April 11, there will be Gruffalo themed activity trails, giant wooden Gruffalo sculptures and from June 7 a massive birthday forest picnic.

Visitors can join mouse on his adventure and explore Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning tale, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

The activities are also taking place at 27 other forests across England - including Whinlatter near Keswick - and runs through to the end of September.

Then from October, the sequel to the series, The Gruffalo’s Child, takes over and will stay in Grizedale right through the winter until February 2015.

Characters from the stories will lead children through the trees with adventure and intrigue, learning about woods and forests as they go, explained the Forestry Commission.

From June, 15 giant wooden sculptures of one of the world's best-loved monsters himself will be hidden in forests across England for families to track down.

Standing 7ft tall and all different, the Gruffalos are being individually-carved in a secret woodland location out of three-ton pieces of timber - each carefully-selected from Forestry Commission sites.

Daryl Shute, from Magic Light Pictures, the brand building and production company responsible for the award-winning animated Gruffalo films commented: “The Gruffalo encourages followers to explore the real world with imagination, creativity and a true sense of adventure.

"With emphasis on learning and the great outdoors, Forestry Commission England is the perfect partner, and we’re delighted to be teaming up with them in this anniversary year to launch these exciting new series of trails across the country.”

Sally Burchall, visitor centre manager for Grizedale Forest commented: “There is no better way to celebrate The Gruffalo than within the deep dark woods and forests that he calls home.

“All the activities have been carefully positioned at Forestry Commission sites across the country so you are never more than an hour away from a Gruffalo adventure and we can’t wait to kick-off the celebrations with The Gruffalo activity trail at Grizedale Forest."

Details of trails and sculpture locations and the forest birthday picnic party pack are available from www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo