An initiative that sought to bring a little magic to the lives of children in Pendle by installing miniature fairytale doors into trees has been stopped in its tracks after a vandal stole a number of the hand-made items.
Fitted in the small spaces left where branches have been pruned and installed by the Trawden Forest Fairies group across Wycoller and Trawden Forest, the inspiration for the project has its roots in the organiser's father's stories about fairies living in a big tree off Barrowford Road, and aims to delight any children who find them.
The woman behind the doors, who wishes to remain anonymous, decided to make them to brighten a world increasingly dominated by bad news and to add a dash of illusion and the exotic for those who come across them, and has hand-made every single door, handle, and hinge.
"I was listening to the news [and] I realised this world in which children are growing up is becoming a frightening place to be," the organiser said. "It's no wonder children choose to sit indoors glued to the electronic gadgets, yet there are amazing places where you can go to and feel you can escape that harsh reality of life.
"Each door is hand-made to fit each individual tree, no two doors are the same," she added. "They take about three-to-four hours to create from taking measurements of the tree to attaching the door. I think that is why it is so upsetting when one gets taken."
Installed with the approval of the countryside Ranger and the Friends of Wycoller group, the project has seen 50-or-so doors fitted around the local area, making a door that is an "entrance to the fairies' homes inside."
Recently, six of the doors have gone missing, despite signs having been posted asking people to leave them as they are. According to the project organiser, the signs were also taken.
"For me the saddest thing is when they try to take them but struggle and leave the vandalised door for little children and other visitors to find," she said. "It somehow destroys the magic. The whole point of the doors quite honestly, is to make people smile.
"If I could say one thing to the people who take the doors, I would say please don't spoil the pleasure for so many people. A child seeing a vandalised or missing door is left quite bewildered as to why it has happened.
"Please leave them for others to enjoy as much as you obviously do."
For more information on the Trawden Forest Fairies, head to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tffedith/