Jonathan Stedall


The village of Hartfield, birthplace of Winnie the Pooh, is up in arms over a proposed bypass across the neighbouring Ashdown Forest. Under the leadership of the formidable Bunny, an Action Group is formed to oppose the plan.

Bertie, the local poet and a beekeeper, is enrolled, together with his timid friend Peggy. So, too, is Sheila, a relative newcomer to the village from Australia. Her lodger, an actor fondly known as Bouncer, also becomes part of the act; and even the gloomy, retired Major, who lives alone on the edge of the village, agrees to join the group.

In fighting to protect this unique heritage from the bulldozers, none of them are remotely aware of their similarities to A.A. Milne’s original creations, not even the owlish Professor who chairs the local History Society.

As the saga unfolds, questions about ecology and relationships and about life itself start to emerge. Meanwhile could a very small inhabitant of the forest itself become a surprising ally?

An Enchanted Place cover

All text and images © Jonathan Stedall