Mystery of the missing woodland fairies in Royston

PUBLISHED: 07:01 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:03 28 May 2020

Phoebe Jaffray made a fairy to hang in Green Walk Plantation. Picture: Cathryn Jaffray

Phoebe Jaffray made a fairy to hang in Green Walk Plantation. Picture: Cathryn Jaffray

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Fairies made by children are mysteriously going missing from woods in Royston – and families are appealing to the culprit to leave them be as they bring joy to youngsters in lockdown.

Phoebe Jaffray made a fairy to hang in Green Walk Plantation. Picture: Cathryn JaffrayPhoebe Jaffray made a fairy to hang in Green Walk Plantation. Picture: Cathryn Jaffray

Cathryn Jaffray, mum of six-year-old Phoebe and Callum, nine, joined ‘Royston Fairy Woods’ Facebook group and encouraged her daughter to make a fairy to go in Green Walk Plantation woodland.

Other sites becoming homes for fairies are Bury and Stile plantations and Therfield Heath woodland near the archery field.

However, many have been removed throughout the month, and the incidents have increased in the last week – with Green Walk Plantation worst hit.

Cathryn said: “My daughter was really disappointed when I told her the fairies weren’t there, luckily we hadn’t gone for a walk for her to see it herself because she would have been really upset.

Phoebe Jaffray made a fairy to hang in Green Walk Plantation. Picture: Cathryn JaffrayPhoebe Jaffray made a fairy to hang in Green Walk Plantation. Picture: Cathryn Jaffray

“She spent time making her fairy, her grandma Maureen has also made a fairy and put it in the woods for her to find – it was one we laughed over as we said her fairy was scary.

“I told her the tooth fairy had needed some new recruits so the fairies have gone off to help – as we’ve all been eating too many sweets in lockdown.

“Seeing the fairies got Phoebe out into the woods when she was anxious and gave her a reason to go outside.

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“Now when I say lets go for a walk there, she says she doesn’t want to because she’ll feel really sad if she sees her fairy gone.”

Cathryn said she doesn’t know who is taking them, but said the area is prone to anti-social behaviour. She also said it mught be someone with environmental concerns.

She said the fairies were permitted by Royston Town Council – and the conservators for that particular area of the heath.

She added: “Whoever is taking them think about if it was your child, grandchild or younger sibling’s fairy and how much joy they bring children who can’t see their friends at the moment.”

Royston mum-of-two Emily Perry started the Facebook group after hearing about something similar in Preston where her mum lives.

The fairies are labelled and Emily has put up information sheets at the sites to explain what it is about and outlined rules to protect wildlife.

She said: “The fairies will be removed after lockdown and I have put information there about what we are doing and why it is good for children.

“It’s as though someone has decided to remove every one they see, maybe they have environmental concerns that we can address. If there’s something we haven’t thought of we need to know.”

If you do have concerns or information about this, contact Emily on the on the Facebook group.


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