IN PARKS, fields and public spaces you might find some colourful rocks hidden among the undergrowth.

It’s not a calling card left by fairies, but the latest trend that is sweeping the country – painting and hiding rocks.

People of all ages are painting rocks with beautiful and fun designs and hiding them in places where people can find them. Rock hunters can then keep the rock, put it back, move it somewhere else or replace it with their own.

There are Facebook pages where people can share photos of their finds. People painting rocks will include the Facebook group’s name or hashtag of their local rock painting group so people can share where they found your rocks.

There are now groups across Gwent including Newport Pebble Art, Caldicot Rocks, Monmouth Rocks UK and Blaenau Gwent Rocks.

A group which has captured the imagination of the community is Torfaen Rocks.

Founded by Judith Jenkins from Sebastopol and Jen Harding from Coleford in the Forest of Dean, they were inspired by the Forest Of Dean Rocks group after finding some rocks while walking.

Mrs Harding said: “My daughter found a rock in Lydney from the Forest of Dean group. Then the two of us took a walk around Caldicot Castle and found some there.

“They’re everywhere.”

The mums created a Facebook group a month ago and it now has more than 3,200 members. People from Torfaen and beyond have been painting and finding rocks and sharing their photos on social media.

Mrs Jenkins said: “It’s gone crazy and taken a life of its own.

“Kids want to go out now and go find rocks and hide their own. They get excited when somebody finds their rocks.”

Mrs Harding added: “It’s family orientated and it doesn’t matter how old you are. My children are five and 18 months and they both join in and find them. That makes me happy as a mum.

“There are lots of mums in the group but some talented dads too. We even have grandparents joining in.”

Member Lynsey Williams, from Newport, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this group. I am a member of this group and the Newport groups and our family have loved decorating pebbles and hiding them.”

Lorna Bailey, from Griffithstown, added: “We’ve hidden ours in Pontypool Park, around Griffithstown and a few in Pontnewydd on the way to school.

“Lots of the pictures in the group are our rocks being found which is great, my daughter Eliza loves watching other kids finding her rocks and also seeing the pictures in the group.

“It’s been great fun all in all, painting, hiding and hunting for other people’s rocks.”

“My girls get so excited when they see posts from other people who have found their pebbles.”

Anyone looking for ideas about how to paint their rock can watch videos on YouTube by the Forest of Dean group showing what material to use and how to decorate and seal rocks in a way that won’t harm the environment.

The founders of the Torfaen Rocks group, who work together, say they have made new friends thanks to the group and said they have had some rocks travel across the globe.

“It’s becoming a wider community,” Mrs Harding said.

“One of our rocks popped up in Australia after one of our colleagues, who was visiting from Australia, took a rock back with him.

“Rocks get moved round and you find yourself talking to people you have never met.”

The group are now creating Torfaen Rocks badges which will be placed with rocks for people to keep. Anyone who wants to find out more should visit Torfaen Rocks on Facebook and request to join the group.

l There will be free rock painting events taking place in B&Q in Cwmbran on February 10 between 10am and 2pm and during the half term break from February 17 to support the activity of Torfaen Rocks. Valspar Masonry Paint will be available to paint the rocks and there will be a selection of 10 colours to chose from. Rocks will be supplied.