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The real world plight of some storybook animals

The popular character Ratty from Kenneth Grahame’s “Wind and the Willows” is a Water Vole. This species is fighting for its very existence. It has its traditional predators as well as of the exotic introduced American Mink. In addition, it’s fighting the devastating affects of habitat destruction. In the last decade, their numbers have decreased by 90%! All hope is not lost. The Mammals Trust UK is reintroducing captive bred Water Voles into their natural riverside areas around London including one spot near Heathrow Airport that is naturally protected from the Mink.

Herdwick Sheep were a favorite of Beatrix Potter. Even in her time, she was concerned about their preservation. She donated a number of farms to the national trust with the stipulation that they be maintained with their sheep.
The Herdwick breed goes back to the 12th Century and is widely regarded as the hardiest of all of Britain’s sheep breeds due to their ability to survive in England’s highest and roughest terrain.

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