In summer 2024 we will bringing you a new artist-led trail – Fairytales at Furzey.

It will run from 25 May to 1 September and will celebrate fairytales and the power they have to spark our imagination, teach us life lessons and unlock our creativity.

This follows this summer’s Artists’ Fairy Doors trail of 25 doors which was incredibly popular – enticing more visitors to the garden and raising much-needed funds for our charity work.

How to be involved

  • Artist Proposal

    We are looking for talented artists who are happy to donate their time to design and decorate:

    • One of 20 six foot by four foot boards, each one depicting a different fairytale. The boards will have a square hole cut in the middle to allow children to have their picture taken ‘within’ the fairytale. We are happy for artists to interpret their chosen fairytale in their own style and in an alternative or abstract way, as long as the finished piece can be recognised as that particular fairytale by a five year old.
    • Six foot giant letters that will sit on the top lawn and spell ‘Once upon a time’. The letters are available in bundles of one, two or three per artist. Your design should be on the theme of ‘storytelling and imagination’ and be suitable for young children, but does not have to be fairytale related.

    We encourage artists to consider 3D elements to their creations, as long as they are sturdy and not too breakable by small hands!


  • Practical details 

    The boards and letters will be made of marine ply and given a white base coat of paint by the people with learning disabilities we support in our workshops in Minstead, unless you request your door in an uncoated state.

    The doors only need to be decorated on one side, they will be attached to a stake and displayed at ground height.

    You will need to thoroughly weather seal your creation.

  • Costs and payment 

    We’re offering to cover reasonable expenses up to £60 per artist. Expense forms with receipts will need to be submitted.

    Every selected artist will receive complimentary one year membership for the gardens to visit for free any time. There will be plaques by each creation to explain the piece, more about the artist and sponsor details.

    We will be offering the artist who wins the public vote an exhibition slot in the garden’s gallery in 2025.

    We will also promote you on site and to our 40,000+ online audience

  • Timeline

    1 December: Deadline for initial expression of interest via online form

    14 January: Deadline to submit full application and sketch for judging

    Week of 23 Jan: Artists chosen and notified

    February (week TBC): Boards and letters available to collect from Minstead Lodge

    15 to 19 April: Artists return finished boards and letters to Minstead Lodge

    25 May: Trail officially begins

    September: Trail ends and artworks auctioned off.


  • How to apply 

    Please fill out the online form to express your interest.

    We will then be in touch to ask you to submit a sketch for a specific fairytale out of the options you have chosen, which will go to the judging panel.

    If you have any questions please contact us at

    We can’t wait to see your ideas – thank you so much for supporting our charity.

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