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The Changing Face of Wind in the Willows Country

Helen Mark heads to Cookham Dean, on the Berkshire Downs, to explore the countryside that inspired Kenneth Grahame to create the magical world of The Wind in the Willows.

Helen Mark heads to Cookham Dean, on the edge of the Berkshire Downs, to explore the landscape that inspired author Kenneth Grahame - giving rise to the magical world of The Wind In The Willows.
After his mother died when Grahame was just six, he and his siblings moved from Scotland to Berkshire, to live with their grandmother. She allowed the youngsters to play freely in the surrounding countryside, feeding their imaginations and introducing Kenneth to the woodlands, meadows and river banks that would reappear years later in his most famous book.
As an adult, Grahame returned to live in Cookham Dean with his own family, where the stories he told his young son were eventually turned into The Wind In The Willows.
Today, changes abound: Grahame's former home is a school; the National Trust has plans to revert an area of woodland back to grassland; and the river rowers are racers rather than picnickers. But the charm of the rural setting that was home to Ratty, Mole, Toad and Badger lingers on...
Produced by Lucy Taylor.

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