IN this digital age, we keep coming up with new ways to tell a story: interactive CD-Roms, flash-driven websites, computer games, ebooks, 3D films - there's no end these days to the imaginative ways to bring a tale to life. But at Keswick for the next few weeks you'll find a fully interactive 3D experience that requires no batteries. Storytree are telling stories in the good old fashioned traditional way: reading them out loud in the open air. And of course the children just love it. So do the adults. This is a family experience which is showing the young ones there is more to life than computers and rekindling a love for storytelling as it used to be in parents and grandparents.
I joined theatre practitioner Richard Gibb on one of the Tale Trail tours as he told classic tales from around the world in an 'auditorium' created by the shore of Derwentwater Lake with a backdrop of the Lake District hills.
Richard said: "Most of Storytree's work is reaching out to the community but the focus of all oru work is stories. Stories are a good way of connecting people with place, they are inspired by the landscape."
The walk is a short one, easily manageable by young and old. Even those with mobility problems should have little trouble as it's all on flat surfaces. The actual walk is only about 20 minutes long, beginning and ending at Keswick Theatre but with four or five stops for a short story, the whole experience lasts about an hour.
Richard had selected stories from all parts of the world but they had one thing in common: they involved mountains, lakes, woods or other aspects of the landscape. It's a perfect theme for tales told around one of the beautiful walks in Britain.
His gentle Scottish accent lends itself to telling tales and the children were quickly drawn in to stories about sea monsters, leprechauns and magical tablecloths. Joining Richard on this particular Tale Trail was Robin Lovegrove from the National Trust. The NT is working with Storytree to produce the series of Tale Trails. Richard was able to add some equally entertaining factual information about the geology of the area during the walk.
He told me afterwards: "We want to reach out to people - young and old. We want people to appreciate their natural surroundings and engage with people out in the countryside. It's about protecting all our heritage, not just the buildings. If people appreciate what is around them they are likely to respect it."
Now that would be a happy ending for everyone.
* Tale Trails start at Keswick Theatre. They take place on Saturday July 16, Saturday, July 23, Tuesday July 26, Thursday July 28, Tuesday August 9, Thursday August 11, Saturday August 13, Tuesday August 16, Thursday August 18, Saturday August 20, Tuesday August 23, and Thursday August 25. They take place at 11am and 2pm. Prices are: Adults £6, Children £3, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £15. For more information and booking: 017687 74411.