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Wildlife trusts in the East hoping hard-hitting film trailer will help stop the loss of habitats

Wildlife trusts in our region are backing a national campaign calling for us to protect our wildlife before it's too late.

It comes ahead of a hard-hitting film trailer based on the Wind in the Willows novel being released in cinemas this weekend.

The short animated film, which stars Norfolk actor Stephen Fry and Sir David Attenborough among others, brings to life the modern threats facing the characters from the children’s story.

The campaign is being led by the Wildlife Trusts who say roads, pollution and intensive agriculture have destroyed many habitats since the Wind in the Willows was first published a century ago.

In fact, it's estimated that 97% of lowland meadows have been lost, along with four-fifths of heathlands of healthlands.

Ratty, the water vole, has been lost from 94% of the places where it was once prevalent, while toad numbers have also fallen by 70% over the last three decades.

The impact of plastic pollution is also clear to see on the East coast, with several seals being found with frisbees or netting around their necks in the last year alone.

Several seals were found with frisbees around their necks just before Christmas last year. Credit: Friends of Horsey Beach

Such an alarming trend has led to genuine concerns that some animals and habitats could disappear forever unless action is taken soon.

"There's an awful lot that needs doing," David North from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust told ITV News Anglia.

"We need to bring back a countryside more like Kenneth Grahame would have known - rich in wildlife, and that's brilliant for people too."

It's a sentiment echoed by Stephen Fry who hopes that the film will get an important message across.

"I've acted in and narrated Wind in the Willows in the past but this version is different - it really, really matters," he said.

"I adore what's left of Britain's wild and precious places and I'm a passionate supporter of my local Wildlife Trust which is restoring a huge part of the fens for nature.

"We all need to get behind The Wildlife Trusts, rise up and call for a wilder future - otherwise it'll be too late to save Toad, Ratty and all the residents of the riverbank and beyond."