Celebrities star in Wildlife Trusts’ Wind in the Willows video

The Wildlife Trusts have created a short Wind in the Willows film for social media and cinema release, which aims to encourage people to act to save the UK’s natural environment.

Joe Lepper | 28th Mar 19

The Wildlife Trusts have enlisted a host of celebrities to star in a Wind in the Willows social media film to inspire people to help nature.

The Wind in the Willows: Official Trailer features Sir David Attenborough, Stephen Fry, Catherine Tate, Alison Steadman and Asim Chaudhry and sees the book’s characters deal with modern threats to the UK’s natural environment.

It aims to encourage people to lobby politicians for strong environmental protection laws and to take part in community projects to help local nature.

Viewers are also urged to volunteer for their local Wildlife Trust and get involved in the charities’ events.

Social media and cinema release

The two minute long film is available on Youtube, Facebook and the Wildlife Trusts website. It is also being released in cinemas for two weeks from March 29 and has been made by advertising agency Don’t Panic and animation house, Rowdy.

“We are a nation of nature-lovers, yet we live in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world,” said Wildlife Trust Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Hilborne.

“If we want to put nature into recovery we have to create a mass movement of people calling for change. Our film is a sad version of The Wind in the Willows – showing how Ratty and Toad have hit the buffers – but it ends with a message of real hope.

“It’s not too late to create strong laws which will help our wildlife make a comeback – and it’s not too late to establish a Nature Recovery Network which will enable us to plan a wilder future.”

Species in decline

Since Kenneth Grahame’s book The Wind in the Willows was first published, more than 100 years ago, over half of the UK’s species have declined in the last 50 years alone, due to issues such as climate change, habitat loss and inappropriate development.

Broadcasting veteran Sir David Attenborough, who is President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “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.

“As a society we know how to put meanders back into straightened rivers and how to build bridges for wildlife. We know which wild places we should be protecting and expanding. But we need ambitious new laws to ensure we do this, laws that ensure we map out nature’s recovery.”

The actor Stephen Fry, who plays Badger and is President of the Great Fen, Wildlife Trust Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, added: “We all need to get behind The Wildlife Trusts, rise up and call for a wilder future – otherwise it’ll be too late to save Toad, Ratty and all the residents of the riverbank and beyond.”

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