If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise ... as a popular Wigan beauty spot has gained a free holiday activity for children.
Becca Shaw and her young son Bowen, from Hindley, have been painting rocks and then hiding them throughout Borsdane Wood to provide youngsters with something to do during the long summer break from school.
Once the rocks have been concealed Becca and Bowen upload clues on a social media page and families from the area set off into the popular green haven to find them.
They then post pictures online when they spot them and have now begun re-hiding the rocks and posting new messages for searchers to crack.
Since they started just under a month ago Becca and Bowen have found their rock hunting has become increasingly popular with parents glad to have something to keep children occupied during the holidays without breaking the bank.
Becca, 33, said: “I was just looking for free things to do over the summer holidays. I’ve got three boys and money is tight.
“I went on a money-saving website and it recommended rock painting. I thought I would give it a go and Bowen and I decided to do it around the local area so all the families could get involved.
“We’ve been going out there most days. Normally we’ve been painting between two and eight rocks and hiding them.
“The response has been really good. We’re getting more and more people involved every day, on one day recently we got about 60 new followers on social media. Lots of people have posted messages saying it’s a really fun, free activity.
“Other families are now joining in painting their own rocks and putting them out there, and when they’ve found some of ours they’ve been putting them somewhere else with new clues.
“That means Bowen and I can now go and look for rocks as well. Bowen loves it when he finds his own rock in a different place.”
Becca and Bowen have been creating themed rocks, painting designs ranging from popular children’s books and films such as The Gruffalo and Up to depictions of snakes.
People who find the rocks usually post a handful of images to show their success online, with pictures of the children proudly displaying their bounty being posted on the Facebook page.
Becca says the idea has proved so popular she may find herself providing activities for Hindley families throughout the year.
She and Bowen are already thinking of themes they can use to get the creative juices flowing and is also considering doing trails at other locations around the borough as well as the woodland.
She said: “We were just going to do it for the summer holidays but now we might as well carry on.
“We’re now thinking of doing trails for Hallowe’en and Christmas. We’re also thinking of going a bit further afield. We decided to start with Borsdane because it’s local to everybody.
“Some families have taken rocks camping, my sister has taken one to Spain and my brother’s gone to Abersoch and taken one with him. The idea is already going to different places.”
To find out more or join in with the free activity, search for Bowen Rocks on Facebook.