Welcome to the World of Bilberry Woods!
If you haven't been there imagine ancient oak trees, brambles and ferns. Meadows of wild flowers in the spring and golden chanterelles in the autumn. There is a lake with hundreds of white lilies floating in small groups by the shores and this is where you are most likely to find Croaker the Frog windsurfing. The Lake is surrounded by slender silver birches whose white trunks are nearly blinding in the bright sunshine and in the moonlight they are like cool marble statues. When the autumn comes the green leaves of the birches turn bright yellow and if you didn’t know better you would have mistaken them for gold coins hung from the branches.
From the Lake you can follow the River and walk down a well trodden path towards the Woodland Village Hall. There the Lanes fork left and right and either way you go you will find little houses dotted around. Some carved inside tree trunks, some part of living trees and some little stone cottages.
These are the homes of Bilberry Woods inhabitants like Pedro the Penguin who is often having a cup of silver tea with his friend Bernard the Badger or where Bernard’s wife Mrs Higgins is making rings to sell. You might also spot Benny the Bat who is flying between the trees and shouts greetings to Ollie the Owl who is on the look out for any good bit of gossip on the top of the Tall Tree.
But if you go upstream from the Lake the land will gently rise up until oaks and birches give away to pines. These red pines are the oldest and the tallest of the woods and they are like pillars supporting the sky above. It is said that their top branches dwell in the Heavens themselves and that the angels sleep on their beds of evergreen needles.
Amongst these trees you can find mystical brown bears, like Ernest, or little dwarfs with colourful hats who carry messages from fairies to the rest of the world.
And if you carry further on, the river gets narrower and runs faster and eventually the trees grow shorter and shorter until there are no more trees. You have arrived to the plains of tundra and further up you can see tall peaks of ice and snow. You would think that this is where all the habitation ends, but you couldn’t be more wrong! Carry on and you’ll find Hector the Arctic Hare working on his latest snow plastering job and if you get hungry head towards the southern slope of the tallest peak and you can stop to eat at Fleming’s Lodge where you are greeted by a very friendly family of Arctic Foxes who have been running the restaurant for generations now.
Then of course there is a whole bunch of Pedro’s cousins living in the area and if you are lucky enough you might come across Onni the Polar Bear or one of his family members, but they are very private so there is no guarantee to see them. But what you are guaranteed to see is the sky full of magical Northern Lights that sweep across the indigo sky at night, creating most magnificent displays of colour.
Bilberry Woods inhabitants love their woods and everything and anything that lives in there. They have heard stories about other places and countries, but really their only concern is ever about their woods. In fact they are a bit narrow minded in that sense and when Pedro the Penguin moved from Spain to Bilberry Woods the local animals where all a bit suspicious about him. After all why would a non woodland creature move to the woods? But as the stories will tell you, this didn’t last very long and soon other animals came to regard Pedro very highly and he became a valuable member of the community. After all if it wasn’t for Pedro, Bernard the Badger (also known as Mr Higgins) would have probably not lived past the day when he crossed the Pine Tree Crossing (since then renamed as Higgins Brook) and fell into the river. It was Pedro who saved him. Also when the shadows of the outer world reached Bilberry Woods and the entire existence of the woods came under threat, it was down to brave animals like Pedro who’s great courage saved the woods and its inhabitants.