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A Perplexing Problem With Pixies

May 27, 2015

A forest in the UK has become overrun with tons of tiny residents. Here’s what a few local residents are doing about their new neighbors.

Pixie DoorPixies. Sprites. Brownies. These magical creatures go by many names but folks in Crewkerne typically call them fairies. Once upon a time, they got along pretty well with the ones that “live” in Wayford Woods, a 29-acre forest near the British town. Unfortunately, they’ve been getting pretty upset with the fairies’ recent housing boom.

Fairies aren’t real, of course, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of their fans from installing tiny doors for them on many of Wayford Woods’ trees. The very first door appeared in 2000. It was installed in the exposed roots of one tree and even had a working doorknob and a tiny bed behind it. At first, Crewkerne’s citizens thought the whole thing was cute and more and more doors began to appear. They took photos of them, some of which even had curtains and little potted flowers, and shared them online. Area schoolkids, who found the doors downright magical, even began leaving messages for the fairies.

Unfortunately, more and more doors have been appearing in the forest and they’re starting to become an eyesore. One tree now has ten doors and it looks less like an adorable fairy house than an enchanted apartment building. One estimate claims 200 doors in Wayford Woods, not to mention the complete miniature fairy amusement park.

“We’ve got little doors everywhere,” Steven Acreman, one of the woods’ trustees, recently told BBC News. “We’re not anti-fairies but it’s in danger of getting out of control.” Acreman and his colleagues are proposing measures to put an end to, as they put it, the “profusion of elfin construction.” They’ve begun removing the more garish doors as they appear and argue that the screws and nails being driven into the trees are bad for the bark and overall health of the trees.

While they’re not about to completely evict the fairies, they are eager to prevent the woods from becoming the pixie-equivalent of lower Manhattan. “We put a lot of time into the conservation of the woods,” Acreman said. “We’re trying to keep people to the paths but the fairy doors are making it a free-for-all.”

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