The Highway Rat woodland trail for kids at the Forestry Commission's Bedgebury Pinetum and Jeskyns

by Angela Cole

"Give me your buns and your biscuits!" isn’t the usual demand from a highwayman but then The Highway Rat isn’t your usual highwayman.

A creation of award-winning author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, the swashbuckling rodent made his first television appearance with the BBC on Christmas Day.

With his sweet tooth and voracious appetite, this naughty hero was a delight for little ones.

The Highway Rat (voiced by David Tennant) and the Squirrel (voiced by Tom Hollander) Picture: PA Photo/BBC/Magic Light Pictures
The Highway Rat (voiced by David Tennant) and the Squirrel (voiced by Tom Hollander) Picture: PA Photo/BBC/Magic Light Pictures

Now they can follow him through the woods on an adventure with a new Forestry Commission Highway Rat Activity Trail, which has been launched at Bedgebury Pinetum in Goudhurst and at Jeskyns near Cobham.

There are 10 themed panels, each with fun facts and activities to try along the way. Young visitors can also pick up an activity pack for £3, with stickers, puzzles and a Highway Rat mask, or download an activity sheet online to take part.

As you go, look out for characters from the story, complete four rubbings and take your picture with the life-sized Highway Rat Wanted poster.

There is also a competition for the best cave painting, available inside the activity pack, with the chance to win a Highway Rat soft toy.

Run into the Highway Rat at Jeskyns
Run into the Highway Rat at Jeskyns

Visitors are encouraged to share their pictures on social media using #TheHighwayRat.

The Highway Rat trail follows previous popular trails retelling Julia Donaldson's stories The Gruffalo and Stick Man.

For Our Kent Family's blog and visit to last year's Gruffalo trail, click here

You can find Bedgebury Pinetum at Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst, TN17 2SJ. Call 01580 879820, email bedgebury@­ or visit for more information.

Jeskyns Community Woodland is off the A2 at Cobham near Gravesend. More details here:

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