You may not believe in fairies but one Kiwi woman's lockdown project can only be described as magic.
When New Zealand went into its first lockdown last year 66-year-old Jo Lyes wanted to give her Hobsonville Point community something other than Covid-19 to think about.
At level four, residents around the country had to stay home, with daily 'lockdown walks' becoming a much-needed source of joy and relief. For those living near Lyes, those walks become even more exciting with the arrival of her Fairy Houses. Made from recycled materials, the tiny homes.
After thousands of hours of work, Lyes' make-believe metropolis soon grew to 25 houses and 50 doors, earning the name 'Fairy Works' and an attraction status on Google Maps.
The Hobsonville Point community has named the magical Fairy House collection a 'Community Treasure' and placed it in a public park so all can enjoy it.
Lyes said it has been great to see her project bring encourage families to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
"I love noticing children's excitement when peering into the Fairy House windows, and many kids have been inspired to make their own," she added.
Her initiative hasn't just delighted children and families but also won her the 'Nominate a Community Hero' award. Hosted by Wilderness Motorhomes, the campaign asked Kiwis to nominate people who steppe up during lockdowns and make a difference in their community.
Lyes was nominated for the award by her daughter Amy who said her mother's work was inspiring and fun for kids and parents.
"I am so proud of what she has achieved," Amy said. "It has given the community something to look forward to and helped many people throughout our strict lockdowns."
As a prize, Wilderness Motorhomes director Mary Hamilton said they would be gifting Lyes a premium 7-day motorhome road trip for two people.
"The fact that the Fairy Houses spread so much joy and wonderment among children and adults during an otherwise tough and challenging time showed us how important Jo's work is," Hamilton said.
"Jo's Fairy Homes give people a reason to go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors, as well as learn to protect our earth: which is in line with our own philosophy of encouraging exploration and appreciation of New Zealand's beautiful scenery."
Lyes said she was surprised and delighted to have won the Community Hero award and said the motorhome trip could be a great scouting opportunity for new Fairy Works locations.
"There are plans to expand Fairy Works, so it would be the perfect opportunity to scope out destinations, as well as enjoy a relaxing break together," she said.