Wind in the Willows

Round & About

sir david attenborough

Help save Badger, Ratty, Mole and Toad and create a wilder future

Badger, Ratty, Mole and Toad are starring in a new campaign from The Wildlife Trust calling for a wilder future.

A Wind in the Willows trailer (below) featuring in cinemas this weekend shows the threats the much-loved characters are facing and what can be done to help our wildlife before it’s too late.

And it’s received backing from Sir David Attenborough as well as the stars who provide the characters’ voices – Stephen Fry as Badger, Catherine Tate as Ratty, Alison Steadman as Mole and Asim Chaudhry as Toad.

The trailer mirrors the reality of creatures such as the badger, water vole, mole and toad with disruption to their lives by roads, river pollution and intensive agriculture.

Kenneth Grahame wrote Wind in the Willows more than 100 years ago and in the time since it was published in 1908 many of the UK’s wild places and its wildlife have been destroyed.

Ratty, the water vole, is the UK’s most declining mammal and despite work to identify the number in Surrey it is unclear if any still exist in the county. It is presumed extinct.

Almost 70 per cent of toads have been lost over the last 30 years too.

The main problems wildlife face in this country are:

• Loss of habitat from intensive farming and places broken up by roads

• Climate change which disrupts breeding patterns, threatens life cycles and creates food shortages

CEO of Surrey Wildlife Trust, Sarah Jane Chimbwandira said: “People move to Surrey because they love the convenience of commuting to work and living within a beautiful county, with leafy neighbourhoods, iconic woodland views form the Surrey Hills and peaceful riverside walks.”

The decline in UK habitats since Kenneth Grahame’s wonderful tale is truly shocking

She added the county’s wildlife is in great decline and in for it to recover it is essential “to create a mass movement of people calling for change”.

Sarah Jane said: “The Wildlife Trust film is a sad version of The Wind in the Willows – showing how Ratty and Toad have hit the buffers – but it’s not too late to save them in Surrey. We can create strong laws to establish a Nature Recovery Network, which will enable a wider future and help nature make a comeback.”

The aim of the film is to inspire people to help by: contacting politicians to ask for stronger environmental laws; walking in the paw prints of others and imagine what wildlife needs to survive where you live and create a wilder future where you are by playing a part in making changes.

Alison Steadman who plays Mole said: “The decline in UK habitats since Kenneth Grahame’s wonderful tale is truly shocking. Millions of people in this country profess a love of wildlife and we need everyone to be taking it back action to bring about nature’s recovery.

“I wanted to take part in this film to help inspire people to get involved and bring our nature back.”

Sir David gave his support to The Wildlife Trust’s campaign saying: “What we create may not look exactly like the countryside that Kenneth Grahame drew such inspiration from, but our wildlife won’t mind just so long as it has the places it needs to live and thrive.”

Find out what you can do to get involved at and if you’re going to the cinema this weekend don’t forget to look out for the trailer.