Posted in Environment, Environmental issues

Our World: Watership Down

close up of rabbit on field
Photo by Pixabay on

Many, many years ago, I started to watch a film called Watership Down. It was a cartoon and, as a child, I assumed it was a children’s film. But I found the beginning traumatic and subsequently didn’t watch the rest of the film. I’m sure it featured rabbits being killed and, as an eight year old with rabbits of my own, it wasn’t what I particularly wanted to watch.

Fast-forward many years later and I bought the book in a charity shop. It’s about a group of rabbits whose home is lost because of, you guessed it, humans and their ‘need’ to develop fields.

Now I find Watership Down a sad book in a different way. Whenever I see the countryside being built on, I wonder about the wildlife that may have used that land to live, feed…

clouds cloudy countryside farm
Photo by Pixabay on

And yes, before I am called a ‘nimby’, I accept that we all live in a house once built on green land and people need houses to live in.

My issue is not the building on some green fields but the extent of which it seems to be taking place today.

There are so many brown field sites, once built on and now standing as an eyesore, and empty, derelict buildings. These could be revamped, making our towns and cities a more vibrant and pleasant place. Win win for humans – and wildlife. 

abandoned abandoned building architecture brick
Photo by mali maeder on

If I had power, when it came to building on green belt land and rural areas, I would make it a law that housing developers would have to set aside, not just an recreational open green space for people, but a sizeable additional area as a nature reserve. Why take away homes for wildlife when creating houses for people?

Why does it have to be an either/or scenario with wildlife inevitably losing out? It’s well known that much of Britain’s wildlife is decreasing because of habitat loss.

Living in a greener, more natural environment is good for people’s mental health too.

Yet another win/win!

And as for Watership Down? I haven’t finished the novel yet, but I’m hoping there is a happy ending and the rabbits do find a new home, away from the threat of the bulldozer.





Interested in environmental issues, wildlife, spirituality, gardening, self-sufficiency and mini-adventures. There are two blogs, one is and the other, more recent one, is - ☺️

28 thoughts on “Our World: Watership Down

    1. The book wasn’t as sad as I was expecting so I’m glad I read it. Overall, it’s more of a rabbit adventure story than a rabbit tragedy although there are sad parts. I have the dvd of the film but not watched it yet. I think if I fast forward Fiver’s premonition (I think that was the traumatic scene I saw as a child), it might be okay and not too heartbreaking to watch!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t watched the film yet but have now finished the book. It’s a fantastic story and the characters are so created so well. Hazel is such a good leader. I really admired him by the end of the book and Bigwig too, for his bravery. I have the film on dvd so must watch that next.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I 100% agree with you. There are so many eyesores of run down towns and cities that should be brought back to life instead of pushing wildlife and greenery out more and more. I think it’s having serious negative impacts on our planet and that makes me sad and angry.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Totally excellent post Clare and l am 100% behind you in your beliefs. Developers care not for anything on the green of the land except the green in hand! Recently here ‘A’ Supermarket chain won the contract to build yet another superstore in direct competition to ‘S’ Chain and there was a strip of old trees, that have been here for a darn sight longer than Deal has. Yet they were torn down under the term progression? Why? Because they potentially ate into a strip of the car park proposal.

    The countryside around us has derelict buildings scattered around that have planning permission and yet they sit there and crumble down into further ruination. Farmers would prefer to keep buildings with BP crumbling so that they can sell the land onwards to …. more property developers.

    The UK has something like a staggering 210+K empty properties stretched across 276 local councils which have been empty for 6 months plus, and there are 11,000 plus homes that have been empty for ten years or more and still we have developers building more properties closer to the towns and cities for convenience? Defies logic on so many levels.

    Globally we have less than the required top soil for our lands, but still we see even more properties being built up on greenspace … well you know the score Clare.

    Again, and excellent post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Rory, I agree with everything you said in your comment. The green belt near me is all being built on, but there is a ‘need for new homes’ – expensive homes for rich people by the look of it! Yet there is not the same urgency about derelict buildings, of which there are, as you say, a massive amount. They are an eyesore and a wasted opportunity. Unfortunately we live in a world where money is seen as more important than anything else and that includes the environment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember feeling the same way about Watership Down when I was a kid. Very intense imagery. Here in our neighborhood in Colorado, they built the houses with nature in mind and left 300 acres of land open and wild. We have trails for biking and walking and the wildlife is abundant out here. Bears, mountain lions, deer, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, rabbits, snakes, field mice, and hawks all live here with people in peace. Thankfully bears and lions are more rare, but they are always around somewhere. It is a blessing when the builders leave more open spaces. They don’t need to take every available piece of land and build homes right next to each other. It is much more enjoyable when they incorporate open land throughout the neighborhood and preserve nature at the same time. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Where you live sounds great in that the developers have thought about nature as well as the residents and have reached a compromise. Here nature seems to be a second thought (if a thought at all) and deemed not important by our builders or politicians (except where money is concerned). Your comment shows just what can be done if the mindset is there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly you are right. It’s a heartbreaking thought and is already so insulting to the awe that is nature. I don’t feel ‘insulting’ is quite the right word I’m after but it’s the essence of what I’m feeling. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never read that book but the state of the world is in such disrepair – over here in the States anyway – how can we hope to interact harmoniously within nature if we treat each other like dirt under our feet – it is very sobering to see that life means so little to some humans. We might care more for a grasshopper that crosses our path than others care for fellow man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true Linda. I’ve often felt that while humans care so little for other species, they will never care for each other and while they care so little for fellow humans, the planet’s other inhabitants have no chance. Unfortunately there is a lack of care and respect for both our fellow humans and other species which shares our planet.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel the same about the small town downtown areas here in the southern US. Some of these places have all the charm of a Hallmark movie town if only a little pride was put into them.

    And what isn’t being bulldozed for development here is being torn down for timber sales. And people think we have a deer and coyote problem….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Watership Down is such a powerful book. I can see the similarities is the development madness that surrounds us where I live. We live on a protected area of farmland but I fear that the ban on development will eventually be lifted.

    Liked by 1 person

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