Hartwig The Hedgehog

Bilberry Woods storybook character Hartwig the Hedgehog handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods Character Hartwig The Hedgehog by Laura Mirjami

Hartwig the Hedgehog runs the Village Shop in Bilberry Woods. 

Inside the shop is also the Post Office and Lost and Found which is where you take lost property. The shop is full of other things as well, groceries, magazines, sweets and all sorts of other useful, and some not so useful, things. And although the shop is full of things, everything has its dedicated place, beautifully arranged and Hartwig knows every item and where it is.

Nothing irritates Hartwig more than when customers pick items up and put them down into a different spot! In fact you only have to twist a bottle so that the label is not facing straight out and you can hear Hartwig huffing and puffing in the background. Most of the Bilberry Woods inhabitants know this and they are very careful when they shop there making sure that everything stays the same.

Sometimes though young Henry the Harvest Mouse and his friend Findlay the Fox can’t resist twisting all the jam jars the wrong way round when Hartwig is busy with other customers. The two boys find it extremely funny, but not so much when they are caught (which is pretty much always) and they have to not only put everything back exactly how it was, but also dust all the shelves and wash the floor after school.

LIKES: Organising little items into little jars or drawers. Stocktaking, accounting and mushroom picking.

DISLIKES: Disorder, muddy footprints on the floor and when you take the last sip of a cup of tea and it is cold.

MOTTO: If you keep everything well organised you’ll sleep better.

Robin The Robin

Bilberry Woods character Robin the Robin handmade by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods Character Robin The Robin by Laura Mirjami

Robin loves to cook and is often catering for all sorts of occasions at Bilberry Woods and elsewhere too.

He loves to travel picking up influences from different cultures and is often experimenting with fusion cooking with somewhat varying results. He once cooked Indonesian spiced cottage pie for the Village meeting, but it didn’t go down that well… Warm chocolate fudge cake though as a dessert with vanilla ice-cream restored everybody’s faith in him.

Robin thinks the food is one of the most important things in life as it gives us our energy and brings people together. 

Robin is also a mean baker and his icing skills are out of this world. You can pretty much give him any theme at all and you will get a cake like nothing you’ve ever seen before with such intricate work that it takes your breath away. In fact, it is so good that it's hard to cut into it and eat it!

LIKES: Crime novels and learning languages.

DISLIKES: When cream won’t whip when there is thunder in the air and books that are really good but don’t have a sequel.

MOTTO: A happy full belly means a happy full life.

Hector The Arctic Hare

Bilberry Woods storybook character Hector the Arctic Hare handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods character Hector the Arctic Hare soft sculpture, handmade from wool felt..jpg

Hector is a master snow plasterer and there is a continuous demand for his services.

The warming climate means the snow plaster wears off much quicker than in the old days and therefore his workload has grown over the years. He finds it hard to take time off especially since he finds it nearly impossible to turn down any work.

Hector also makes the best ice lanterns in the area and his talent of ice sculpturing is rather special too, but unfortunately, he doesn’t have much time to do that these days.

When Hector has some time off from work he loves to go skiing (no skis needed – his hind legs are the best!) He would ski the entire day and stop at the Fleming's Lodge for a long, delicious lunch. Their naturally chilled ice creams and sorbets are to die for and his favourite flavour is pistachio.

LIKES: ice sculpturing, skiing and ice cream.

DISLIKES: working on the weekends and turning down any work.

MOTTO: What ever work you do, do it well.

Oscar The Orangutan

Bilberry Woods storybook character Oscar the Orangutan handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods character Oscar the Orangutan felt paperweight handmade by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design..jpg

Oscar and his family moved to Bilberry Woods after their own home got destroyed in Borneo.

They found the woods a little cold at the beginning, but Rupert the Reindeer knitted various different accessories to keep them warm. These included hats, gloves and socks and once they were all wrapped up the cold wasn’t so much of a problem anymore and they all settled well into their new home.

Oscar became very good friends with Findlay the Fox and Henry the Harvest Mouse who both, with many other animals, helped the Orangutans to save the majority of their woods in Borneo. These days many inhabitants of Bilberry Woods call the trio the three amigos as they are rarely seen apart.

LIKES: Orchids and their new home especially the wood burner.

DISLIKES: Trees being cut down unless it is done by the Beavers in a very managed and helpful way.

MOTTO: Always help someone in need, just as you would wish to be helped if in trouble.

Ernest The Brown Bear

Bilberry Woods storybook character Ernest the Brown Bear handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods Character Ernest The Brown Bear

Ernest is a very contemplative bear, yet not a very talkative one.

He seems to be living in his own world most of the time, but once you get him talking it becomes very clear that he holds a world of knowledge and wisdom and that he lives in a realm where the reality and myths blend together and where legends are only history forgotten.

Ernest is also very knowledgeable about history, not only about Bilberry Woods but about lands far and away and he is often invited to Bilberry Woods school to give a lecture or two.

He is also brave and courteous and he can run incredibly fast once he gets going.

LIKES: folklore, encyclopedias, and well-fitted waistcoats.

DISLIKES: being in hurry and how that one berry seed always gets stuck in the teeth.

MOTTO: Never ignore history as it is what makes us today.

Mrs Mole

Bilberry Woods character Mrs Mole animal figurine handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods Character Mrs Mole by Laura Mirjami

Mrs Mole with her husband Mr Mole have a candle factory that produces the most exquisite beeswax candles.

The main entrance to the factory lies at the west side of Bilberry Woods not too far from the Village Hall, but the actual underground tunnels stretch far and wide with beeswax drop off points in all sorts of places. 

You might have even seen some in your garden and some mistakenly refers to them as mole hills, but you must realise that these are the points where the beeswax is dropped in by bumble bees.

Mr and Mrs Mole are always horrified to hear stories that in some places these hills get covered when they appear without understanding their real reason! 

Nowadays Mr and Mrs Mole provide information packs for those who are worried about their gardens. Not that it is a problem in Bilberry Woods as everyone knows perfectly well how candle making works, but the packs are intended for those living in other parts of the world. 

These packs illustrate in detail the candle making process and how important the mole holes are to ensure that beeswax is delivered to the right place and in top condition.

LIKES: Candle making, organising and being your own boss.

DISLIKES: Not getting her own way and when tea cools down too quickly.

MOTTO: Never trust what others have done, but check it yourself.

Mr Moose

Bilberry Woods storybook character Mr Moose handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods Character Mr Moose by Laura Mirjami

Mr Moose, or ‘Herra Hirvi’ as you would say in Finnish is a very accomplished Concert level pianist and he gets to play his music all over the world. This makes him a very well travelled moose.

Sometimes though he is not very happy if he arrives at the venue to play and they haven’t taken into account how big his impressive antlers are and there is not enough room for them! One time they even thought that a normal size piano would do and you can just imagine how he looked with his long legs, big antlers and very grumpy face. Now he is very careful to send his requirements well in advance.

Mr Moose also speaks five different languages although it is slightly questionable as he tends to mumble his words a lot and therefore you can’t really hear what he is saying. Somehow though he manages to get understood regardless what country he is in.

LIKES: Strong black coffee with sugar, reading and crosswords.

DISLIKES: Wet grass and bumping his antlers into the ceiling.

MOTTO: Learn something new everyday.

Mr Mole

Bilberry Woods character Mr Mole animal figurine handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods Character Mr Mole by Laura Mirjami

Mr with Mrs Mole have a candle factory that produces the most exquisite beeswax candles.

The main entrance to the factory lies at the west side of Bilberry Woods not too far from the Village Hall, but the actual underground tunnels stretch far and wide with beeswax drop off points in all sorts of places. 

You might have even seen some in your garden and some mistakenly refer to them as molehills, but you must realize that these are the points where the beeswax is dropped in by bumble bees.

Mr and Mrs Mole are always horrified to hear stories that in some places these hills get covered when they appear without understanding their real reason! 

Nowadays Mr and Mrs Mole provide information packs for those who are worried about their gardens. Not that it is a problem in Bilberry Woods as everyone knows perfectly well how candle making works, but the packs are intended for those living in other parts of the world. These packs illustrate in detail the candle making process and how important the mole holes are to ensure that beeswax is delivered to the right place and in top condition.

LIKES: Candle making, lazy Sunday mornings and being told what to do – it makes life so easy!

DISLIKES: When Mrs Mole is visiting her relatives and she hasn’t left his lunch in the fridge.

MOTTO: Leaders lead and followers follow. Know your place and be happy!

David The Dragon

Bilberry Woods storybook character David the Dragon handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods Character David The Dragon by Laura Mirjami

David originally comes from the Dragon Hill west of Bilberry Woods where most of the dragons still live, apart from David.

These dragons on the High Hills fight a lot. They have fighting tournaments where the biggest and strongest dragons compete against each other. The strongest dragons are the most admired and respected in the dragon world. Little dragons are trained to become strong and proud right from an early age and a dragon is not really a dragon if its tail is not strong, its nailed are not as sharp as pins and its breath is not as hot as a volcano’s center.

Every dragon on Dragon Hill has all those three vital characteristics apart from David. He has no fire in his breath. Not even a bit of smoke, nothing. But that doesn’t bother David, it used to, but since he found a new purpose in life thanks to the other animals of Bilberry Woods he is now a very happy dragon with no fire, but he is an expert tree surgeon and he helps not only the Beavers, but other animals too to keep the trees healthy and he even cuts firewood for everybody in the village.

LIKES: Chopping wood and eating

DISLIKES: Animals who try to show off.

MOTTO: Don’t ever feel that you have to be what you were yesterday – change is good.

Croaker The Frog

Bilberry Woods storybook character Croaker the Frog handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods character Croaker the Frog loves windsurfing..jpg

Croaker loves the River and the Lake and he is a superb river surfer. If it was up to him he would surf down the river all day long and hop back from one lily leaf to another at the dusk.

He also loves the Lake where he is often windsurfing and having lovely long swims. But Mrs Croaker doesn’t agree with this sort of time wasting and therefore he has to divide his time between the river and the household duties.

More often than not though he is seen to be basking on the rocks by the Lake whilst you can hear Mrs Croaker croaking somewhere up the River.

And if Croaker is not by the Lake or the River he would be in his little shed at the back of the house where he builds his wind and surfboards. They come in all sizes and shapes, some more successful than others and some certainly wouldn’t be any good on the water. But Croaker doesn’t mind, he loves making – the cutting, the sanding, the polishing and of course the decorating – so for him, it is all about the making and not so much about the end results. Plus if he makes loud enough noises he can’t hear Mrs Croaker calling him, hee hee.

LIKES: Wind surfing and river surfing, the smell of beeswax on a surf board and any drink with bubbles.

DISLIKES: Household duties and flat soda.

MOTTO: It’s worth waiting for the right wave.

Billy The Blackbird

Bilberry Woods character Billy the Blackbird animal figurine handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods character Billy the Blackbird handmade paperweight by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design..jpg

Billy is a brilliant singer, but he is too shy to sing in public and only sings very early in the morning and late at night when he thinks that nobody can hear him. But little does he know that most of the inhabitants of Bilberry Woods stops to listen to him every time he sings.

He sings about the joys of life and the hardships of life, about broken hearts and mended hearts. About the wind that rustles the leaves in the trees and rivers that run wild. About Lakes’ mirror still waters and stormy seas. About rain that turns paths muddy and sun that bakes them dry. About flowers that turn their heads towards the sun and those that have withered away. In fact, there isn’t much that Billy doesn’t sing about.

His singing is so loved by everyone as you will always hear something that touches your soul at that particular moment and whatever it is, it fills you with joy and hope and happiness, no matter how hard your day has been or how nervous or anxious you may be about the coming day.

Otherwise, Billy is a rather quiet, almost grumpy bird, certainly a bird with few words.

LIKES: Watching black and white films and growing orchids in his greenhouse.

DISLIKES: Talking and big crowds.

MOTTO: Music is food for the soul.

Benny The Bat

Bilberry Woods storybook character Benny the Bat handmade from wool felt by Laura Mirjami | Mirjami Design.jpg
Bilberry Woods Character Benny The Bat handmade from polymer clay by Laura Mirjami

Benny the Bat is a master pilot and he doesn’t enjoy anything more than flying as closely as possible to objects around him and these include trees and fellow inhabitants of Bilberry Woods.

Some though, like Croaker the Frog, find Benny’s near miss swoops most disturbing and he prefers to dive into the river as soon as he sees Benny approaching. Benny finds it very funny and his favourite game is to get as close to Croaker as possible without being spotted.

Sometimes you can hear a terribly loud croak followed by a big splash and that would mean that Benny has succeeded in sneaking up on Croaker.

Having said all this if Croaker is surfing then he doesn’t mind Benny flying by and often they have a good old race across the lake. Benny always wins,  of course, but it just makes Croaker even more determined to build a faster windsurfing board.

Benny is also very useful for the other Bilberry Woods inhabitants as he is keen to deliver messages and is always competing with himself for his personal best speed flying results.

He also delivers secret files for Ollie the Owl from various pickup points and thus keeping the trail cold for anyone following.

LIKES: Flying really, really, really fast. So fast that it is almost impossible for a normal eye to see him.

DISLIKES: Walking, swimming and any other activity that doesn’t involve flying.

MOTTO: Fly as fast as possible and no worries will catch you.