The Animals of Farthing Wood

The Animals of Farthing Wood

The Animals of Farthing Wood

A Pompey forward heads the ball towards the Milton goal.  (Barry Cox collection)

From the heat of Egypt to blackberrying at Leigh Park

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Gripping, fun and educational – that’s a combination rarely found in the sickly-sweet world of children’s television. One series that could claim to be all three, is sadly resigned to TV nostalgia.

Based on the books by Colin Dann, The Animals of Farthing Wood was shown on CBBC in 1992.

Its powerful storyline and excellent animation caught my attention.

Forced to leave Farthing Wood after humans began destroying it, the story followed the ill-fated animals on a journey to the White Deer Park nature reserve.

The characters had easy to remember names. Fox, Badger, Mole, Weasel and Toad, to name a few. And they were beautifully drawn. The show didn’t shy away from the subject of death and showed the dramatic consequences of motorways, hunting and deforestation.

By the third series, changes had been made to how the characters behaved and the magic of Farthing Wood began to fade. After three years of teaching British children about the human impact on the environment and how to work together by setting aside their differences, the series ended.

An online petition to the BBC to make The Animals of Farthing Wood into a DVD currently has 7,658 signatures. Sign it yourself at petitiononline.com.

KIMBERLEY BARBER

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