The Wood In Danger

Farthing Wood is being destroyed. Diggers spend all day rampaging though what remains of a once large wood. A Toad is coming to the end of a long journey home, back to his home in the Farthing Wood pond. He is unaware that the pond no longer even exists. Bravely struggling on, Toad is scooped up by a digger and dropped amongst a big pile of rubble.

Away from the scene of devastation, Badger and Weasel arrive at the stream, now just a muddy trickle. They are soon joined by other animals amongst them Fox and Owl. Then Kestrel arrives to deliver the final blow: Farthing Wood pond has been filled in. As Weasel helpfully points out If you wouldn’t call that an emergency, what would you call it? Alice?

Fox suggests an assembly to discuss the situation and the animals disband to gather the entire woodland community together, a job Fox puts Badger in charge of.

The animals gather inside Badger’s set. Mole is the last to turn up as usual. The animals are in the middle of their discussion when Toad appears through the roof and lands in the middle of the meeting. The animals are very suprised to see him alive and safe. We were ssso ssscertain you'd sssnuffed it, remarks Adder. Toad explains that he was captured from the pond by humans and taken away in a jam jar. He was taken far away but managed to escape. His homing instinct guided him back to his home in Farthing Wood. Toad is devastated to learn that his beloved home has been destroyed.

As the meeting continues, the animals realise they must search for a new home. Toad tells them of a place he came across on his travels—White Deer Park, a nature reserve where creatures are protected by humans. Owl is sure that if such a place existed she would know about it. However, with no alternative the animals agree to make the long journey.

Hare is uphappy that the vegetarians would be travelling with their natural enemies, the carnivores. Badger suggests the introduction of the ancient woodland vow—The Oath of Mutual Protection—where animals swear not to frighten, terrorise or consume one another. All the animals repeat the oath.

Badger nominates Fox as leader of the group. A decision that not everyone seems happy with. Fox tells the other animals to meet at the great beech at midnight and the meeting breaks up, with the animals heading off to make their final preperations for journey ahead.

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