Highway Rat Activity Trails with the Forestry Commission

Are you looking for exciting outdoor activities to do with your family this spring? Have you heard about the amazing Highway Rat Activity Trails organised by our friends from the Forestry Commission?

Highway Rat Activity Trails
Photo credit: Forestry Commission

Forestry Commission brought to life “The Highway Rat”, the latest Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book. “The Highway Rat” tells the tale of a pesky rat galloping along the highway, stealing sweets and food from his victims. Follow the Highway Rat and other characters from the book on the forest trails, discover the forest, complete the activities appearing on the trail panels and have lots of fun!

With 21 interactive trails all over the UK, you won’t have to travel far to spend a great day out with your little adventurers. Trails are aimed at younger children but the whole family is invited to join in and get active! Visitors will come across 10 Highway Rat-themed panels on each trail and will participate in fun and educational activities. The idea is simple: search from characters from the story, complete four rubbings and take picture with the life-sized Highway Rat ‘Wanted’ poster! Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

To complete your adventure, you can buy an exciting Highway Rat activity pack with activities, stickers, puzzles and a Highway Rat mask inside (crayon, pencil and a piece of string will be provided as well). Don’t forget to sign up to the Forestry Commission’s newsletter to receive downloadable Highway Rat activity sheets for children with lots of craft ideas and other brilliant creative tips. Make the Highway Rat’s hat, colour-in the Highway Rat colouring sheet or make a hobby horse to ride through the forest!

Highway Rat Activity Trails
Photo credit: Forestry Commission

If you have more time, why not building your own cave den? In the book, the Highway Rat, tricked by the Duck, follows her into a deep cave. The brave Duck escapes with all the stolen food and gives it to her hungry friends! Here is how to build a cave den:

  • Find a spot

Find a tree with a flat spot around to build your cave den on (nothing too rocky or soggy)

  • Create a “frame”

Use long, fallen branches (about half a dozen) and lean them against the trunk to create a wigwam shape. Don’t forget to leave an entrance to be able to hide and play inside the cave den

  • Fill the gaps

Collect lots of thinner branches and twigs and fill in the gaps between the larger branches. Your cave will be darker and even cosier inside!

  • Check if your cave den is stable enough

Before letting anyone in, check if the cave den is sturdy enough by giving it a few pushes and kicks. If it wobbles, add more twigs and branches to make sure the cave den doesn’t fall on whoever is inside

  • Take your cave den down

Drag the branches away carefully when you’re done. Don’t go inside to do it and take care


Highway Rat Activity Trails
Photo credit: Forestry Commission


Have you already joined the Highway Rat and the Forestry Commission on the adventure? Leave us a comment below and let us know how it was!

Need more ideas? How about a trip to a farm park?