Stars speak up for wildlife

Sir David Attenborough, Asim Chaudhry, Stephen Fry, Alison Steadman and Catherine Tate have backed Wilder Future, a new campaign from The Wildlife Trusts that calls for nature’s recovery in the UK.

These high-profile figures have starring roles in a new The Wind in the Willows film trailer, which brings to life the 21st century threats facing the much-loved characters from Scottish-born author Kenneth Grahame’s children’s classic.

Stephen Fry, who plays Badger, said: “I’ve acted in and narrated Wind in the Willows in the past but this version is different – it really, really matters. 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.”

The animated trailer shows how the lives of Badger, Ratty, Mole and Toad are disrupted by roads, river pollution and intensive agriculture. Many habitats have been destroyed and others have been broken up.

We hope the film will inspire people to help wildlife by calling for strong environmental laws which help nature recover, taking action for wildlife in their garden or local area, or getting involved with our work.

Wildlife is facing steep declines

Kenneth Grahame wrote The Wind in the Willows just over a hundred years ago. Since then, many of the UK’s wild places and the plants and animals that depend on them have been lost. In Scotland, 1 in 11 species are threatened with extinction.

  • 97% of lowland meadows and the beautiful wildflowers, insects, mammals and birds that they supported have disappeared.
  • 80% of our beautiful purple heathlands have vanished – with their blaeberries, sand lizards and the stunning nocturnal birds, nightjars.
  • Rivers are in deep trouble too. Only 20% are considered as healthy and 13% of freshwater and wetland species in Great Britain are threatened with extinction.

President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts and narrator of the trailer, Sir David Attenborough says:
“It is desperately sad that so much of our country’s wildlife has been lost since Kenneth Grahame wrote his wonderful book The Wind in the Willows. Of all the characters in the book it is hard to know whose descendants have suffered the most. Water voles, toads and badger’s friends in the book, hedgehogs, have all seen catastrophic declines.

“Of all the characters in the book it is hard to know whose descendants have suffered the most. Water voles, toads and badger’s friends in the book, hedgehogs, have all seen catastrophic declines.”

Sir David Attenborough

“We have damaged our rivers, built too many roads and lost too many ponds and meadows. All of this has happened because our systems and laws that should be keeping nature healthy are failing, and we are losing touch with wildlife. Everything is becoming disconnected.

“The Wildlife Trusts have worked tirelessly to slow wildlife’s decline and to save our remaining wild places. Without The Wildlife Trusts our country would be the poorer. But there is much more to be done. This country of nature lovers needs to give its wildlife every chance to survive, thrive and expand its range.

President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts Sir David Attenborough © Dixie Lee
President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts Sir David Attenborough © Dixie Lee

“I am backing The Wildlife Trusts’ campaign to rally people to secure a ‘wilder future’ by restoring large areas of wildlife habitat, in city and country. 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.

“Together we can make the next chapter for wildlife a happier one. Join us to put nature into recovery.”

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Preface

Sir David Attenborough, Asim Chaudhry, Stephen Fry, Alison Steadman and Catherine Tate have backed Wilder Future, a new campaign from The Wildlife Trusts that calls for nature’s recovery in the …

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