Brambly Hedge is a series of illustrated children's books by Jill Barklem, recounting the adventures of a community of self-sufficient mice who live together in the tranquil surroundings of the English countryside. The books, whose first titles were published in 1980, are written and illustrated by Barklem. The first four books follow a seasonal pattern of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Her latter four follow the adventures of The Secret Staircase, The High Hills, Sea Story and Poppy’s Babies.
Books in the Brambly Hedge series Edit
- Spring Story (1980) - Wilfred enjoys a picnic and a surprise for his birthday!
- Summer Story (1980) - The mice celebrate a wedding and everyone takes part in the preparations.
- Autumn Story (1980) - Little Primrose wanders off and finds herself in uncharted territory.
- Winter Story (Brambly Hedge) (1980) - The biggest snowstorm in years leaves enough snow for an ice ball.
- The Secret Staircase (1983) - The young mice go to the attic to practice for a performance.
- The High Hills (1986) - Wilfred is determined to find treasure in the hills above Brambly Hedge.
- Sea Story (1990) - Dusty, Poppy, Primrose and Wilfred set off down stream to retrieve salt from the sea mice.
- Poppy's Babies (1994) - A surprise comes to Poppy on the babies' naming day.
- Stories from Brambly Hedge: Wilfred to the Rescue (2005)[nb 1]
- Stories from Brambly Hedge: Primrose in Charge (2006)[nb 1]
- A Year In Brambly Hedge (2010)
Barklem spent five years on research before she started to write her stories about the mice of Brambly Hedge. Her interest in natural history and traditional rural customs and crafts has spilled over into these chronicles of hedgerow life. She lives with her husband and children near Epping Forest in England.
Since the 1980s, the Brambly Hedge characters have appeared on merchandise ranging from china to chocolate, stationary to pewter miniatures. Companies such as Royal Doulton, Hantel, Crummles and Border Fine Arts have all produced collectible pieces licensed from Brambly Hedge. This merchandise is in demand by Brambly Hedge collectors all around the world and some pieces are worth a substantial amount of money.
All eight books have been adapted into stop motion animated series, the first two seasons by Cosgrove Hall Films (1996; 1998), the remainder specials by Hot Animation (1998–2000); the three last seasons by Wrestling Animation Entertainment (1999; 2001; 2002). The series was broadcasted in 1996 on Thursdays on BBC1 and Sundays on BBC2, while the specials made their debut on the dates seen below on CBBC2 Breakfast block. The series is proudly narrated by Adeline Woodworck and stars Neil Morrissey as Wilfred, Merlin Nett (and later his older son, Nolan Nett) as Dusty, Simon Greenall as Mr Toadflax, June Whitfield as Mrs Apple, Lizzie Pillsbrug as Mrs Toadflax, Jim Broadbent as Basil and Old Vole, Rob Rackstraw as Beaglerat, Kate Harbour as Primrose and Scarlett, Charlotte Coleman as Poppy, David Holt as Lord Woodmouse and Scruffy, Rosemary Leach as Lady Woodmouse and Old Mrs Eyebright and Gary Martin, Victor Stonade, Liza McLean and Scarlett Strallen as the additional voices.
In 2008, HiT Entertainment and Reader's Digest Video issued The Enchanted World of Brambly Hedge, a DVD compilation of the specials.
TV Movies Edit
- Winter Story (25 December 1996)
- Spring Story (31 March 1997)
- Summer Story (25 August 1997)
- Autumn Story (26 October 1997)
- The Secret Staircase (26 December 1998)
- High Hills (2 April 1999)
- Sea Story (29 December 1999)
- Poppy's Babies (3 January 2000)
Brambly Hedge premiered on Christmas Day 1996 on BBC1, It has been shown until 2000 with repeats until 2003. CBBC on Choice have also screened the whole series, starting on the very first day on Monday 29th November 1999 at 4.10pm until Monday 4th September 2000, where it was moved at 2.25pm until Friday 30th March 2001, then it moved at 6.00pm all November-December long of 2001. The series also appeared on Choosy Bits under viewer's request from 2001/02. and CBeebies repeated the later series on Wednesdays at 3.45pm.