The new world-wide craze has seen families across the Essex heading outdoors to play hide and seek with hand-painted rocks.

The decorated rocks are bring hidden in a variety locations around the county as part of a community treasure hunt; like Pokémon Go! without all the tech.

Once hidden, photos and clues are posted on participating Facebook pages to help other families find them. Treasure hunters then re-hide them elsewhere, and often make their own to add to the game.

Why are people hunting for painted rocks?

Essex rock hunters are taking part in a global social phenomenon that aims to spread happiness and make other people’s day a little brighter. It’s also a great excuse to get crafty and spend more time walking.

One of largest UK groups is called Love on the rocks uk (Painting Rocks ~ finding and hiding).Inspired by a popular US group, Love on the Rocks now has nearly 34,000 members, with dozens of painted rocks being found and hidden every day.

Other rock painting groups that are exclusively for Essex residents include Essex rocks! Essex Rocks (Harlow based), and Painting rocks – Essex (UK) (Brentwood based).

rock painting

How to add new rocks to the hunt

Getting involved in this new craze couldn’t be easier. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Paint a new rock with a design of your choice – the brighter it is, the easier it’ll be to spot. Remember to varnish it so the paint isn’t washed away.
  2. Hide it somewhere that’s accessible to people of all ages.
  3. Add a clue on one of the Facebook groups to help others find it. You should add the title of the group it’s intended for on the bottom of the rock and give it a name.
  4. Can’t find a group in your area? You could start your own and invite friends and local families to join in.

Although the Essex groups are still fairly small, the movement is quickly gathering momentum.

So if you love walking and need a fun excuse to get the kids out of the house, make sure you keep an eye out for these brightly coloured rocks – and maybe create a batch of your own.