Pangbourne - A Gentle Walk with a difference
by Jeannette Briggs
Pangbourne - The Fight to Save Ratty's Riverbank on the River Pang.
"A fundraising mission has been launched to save the real-life riverside home of Ratty, Mole and the other Wind in the Willows characters. Conservationists want to use the land - which prompted author Kenneth Grahame to write his masterpiece - as a wildlife refuge. The stretch of the River Pang (a tributory of the Thames) in Berkshire is being sold by Cemex, a giant aggregates firm, on 8 December 2006 for £235,000. The land is destined to be used for housing.....This beautiful landscape needs to be preserved forever and not just buried under yet another housing estate. Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust has got first refusal but lacks the cash. Now it has launched an appeal. Members have pledged £30,000 and a further £45,000 may be raised this way. The remaining £150,000 will be sought from charities - but the timescale is tight. If YOU value Kenneth Graham's characters and the habitat of the water vole (whose numbers have declined by over 80% in the past 20 years due to changes in riverbanks - their normal habitat) then you should contact the Berks Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust direct....."