The Story

Willow and the Forget-Me-Nots tells the story of a young girl who stumbles upon a Litter Monster whilst out playing along the River Eden. Whilst getting to know this intriguing creature and learning about the damaged environment through his eyes, Willow discovers that we (humans) are in fact the real litter monsters in the story and it is our responsibility to make it right.

Is there more to this Litter Monster than meets the eye? How will they do their part to protect the rivers? And at what cost?

The key messages within the narrative cover many important areas including environmental health, the impact of plastic pollution and loss.

The importance of protecting our environment has never been so crucial – we must all, as individuals, change the way we live on a daily basis to make the impact required to make the change a permanent one. Willow and the Forget-Me-Nots provides an engaging, thought provoking and emotional punch into the plastic world we now live in for a family audience. Set in the beautiful county of Cumbria, the narrative demonstrates that no area is safe from the plastic virus that infects our world.

The Characters

Our lead character is a young girl called Willow. She is an average 7 year old who just wants to have fun in the great outdoors. She attempts to go fishing in the polluted River Eden but instead of catching a fish reels herself into an eye opening ordeal.

After learning about the importance of cleaning and protecting the environment, she becomes an advocate for the removal of plastic pollution and environmental health. Every one of us has the power to make a difference to our planet, no matter how small.

Eden (or Eddie as his friends call him) is the guardian of the River. Thousands of years before our story he roamed the land, forging valleys and fells, shaping his beautiful landscape with his strong hands providing a wonderful place for wildlife to flourish.

When he last settled down to sleep beneath the river a mere century ago, he did not expect to be slowly suffocated beneath the water by the impact of plastic waste and micro plastics now present within our rivers.

When he wakes he is almost unrecognisable as the plastic and debris clings to his once beautiful body. He tries to consume the litter as the easiest way to be rid of it but not even this magical creature is safe from the plastic virus which infects him and when he slips away becomes another grassy mound within the landscape he once created.

Plastic waste does kill animals and wildlife and destroys their habitats so it is important for us to show that our lead character, our guardian of Eden, is affected in such a way, even though he seems so powerful and strong as a mythical creature.

No one is safe from the impact of plastic on our environment. Eden tries to eat the litter to rid it from the land which infects him. This indicates the high stakes and severity of the problem we face globally.

Inspiring Others

"WITH 2 MILLION MICROPLASTICS PER SQUARE KILOMETRE, THE RIVER MERSEY WAS PROPORTIONALLY MORE POLLUTED THAN EVEN THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH... WIDELY CONSIDERED TO BE THE MOST POLLUTED EXPANSE OF WATER ON EARTH"

GREENPEACE

Educating our audience on how to dispose of litter responsibly as well as recycling and avoiding plastic all together in the future are also areas we wish to explore. Less litter brings benefit to animals and humans. Not only is litter unsightly and capable of ruining our experience in nature, it also poses danger to animals that may ingest it. This is a key feature within our story to raise real awareness.

Often litter ends up in a river and we all know where our rivers lead to. By removing litter from our environments, we are ensuring that it doesn’t end up in our oceans. Our planet’s future is at stake. Litter control programmes are therefore critically relevant for future generations.

The Plastic Impact

Plastic has toxic pollutants that damage the environment and cause land, water, and air pollution. It can take hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to break down, so the damage to the environment is long-lasting.

Our story and characters explore the numerous aspects of the impact of plastic pollution on our beautiful landscapes and rivers including loss of wildlife, the destruction of habitats and as a threat considered an emergency contaminant.

Our goal is to connect our audience emotionally with the topic at hand through the eyes of our heroes – and like Willow, to move forward as advocates for the environment by reducing our impact individually with a major focus on our own sustainability.

Litter Picking

Litter picking is a key focus within story. Although it is clear why it is so important in the fight against plastic pollution, this is also a crucial moment in the story for our characters to bond.

During these moments we see the fun and gentle side of Eden as he helps Willow to clean the river and surrounding areas whilst having fun and forming a true and everlasting friendship.

Cumbria and the Lake District

Our story is set in the beautiful county of Cumbria which houses the Lake District – a World Heritage Site with its scenic landscape and breathtaking views.  A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, and its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets and also with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.

But according to new analysis, even our rural location is under threat. From the Thames to the Lake District, Britain’s iconic waterways are full of plastic pollution, (Greenpeace). There is no river in the UK untouched by the plastic disease.

Hope for the Future

The damage that we have done to our environment is undeniable but the fight is not yet lost. We must make a change now in the hope that we will one day make a difference. That we may right our wrongs and do our part to heal the Earth. This is symbolised through Eden’s suggested resurrection.

This also provides many opportunities for Eden and Willow to go forth as missionaries for the planet to help educate, empower and rewrite the script for the planet across many areas of environmental health.