After record-breaking heat in the UK during the summer, we are having to become more accustomed to change. It’s the very end of October as I write, the sun is shining and it’s 21 degrees, in essence a relatively normal summer’s day in England. The ‘false autumn’ we encountered in August has been very much replaced with genuine autumn in terms of colour, if not temperature. We have had relatively little wind so far this season, so the trees are mostly still in leaf and putting on a spectacular display.

A great place to see the autumn colours is Epping Forest, a place Jill called home, and the area that first inspired her to create the Brambly Hedge books. In September I took a trip back down memory lane for a magazine feature. We traced Jill’s steps from Epping Underground station out into the countryside, along the fields and hedgerows, heavy with autumn fruit. From there we walked through Epping town, past Jill’s blue plaque, and down through Epping Forest. We made a very exciting discovery relating to Brambly Hedge in Epping Forest, but you’ll have to wait until the article is published in spring 2023 for more on that!

All too soon these autumn leaves will be gone and another year will have passed. Speaking of which, the 2023 Brambly Hedge calendar was launched in September, and we would love to point you in the direction of where you can find one…but unfortunately we can’t. The stock flew off the shelves in a matter of weeks. We will endeavour to have more calendars available in 2024, and we have also taken on board all your requests about different calendar shapes and formats. We do have plenty of new items in our shop as we head towards the festive season.

Following the popularity of our inaugural Christmas card pack that we launched in 2021, we are pleased to announce that they are back for 2022, and this year we have many new packs available. In addition to the Winter Story 12 card pack, we now have five additional 8 card packs, featuring further illustrations from Winter Story and The Secret Staircase. All our Christmas card packs are available to order on our website now.

Whilst we are excited about the new cards, it’s December 8th that we are really looking forward to most…the UK launch of the new Brambly Hedge Pop-Up Book! We advise that you pre-order your copy, as demand for this book is already very high, and this is a limited print run book, it may sell out very quickly! The Pop-Up book will launch in the USA in March 2023, and an Italian edition will also be the joining the range.

New translated editions of Brambly Hedge continue to arrive at speed. This autumn will see all eight books publish in China, we look forward to introducing the mice to a whole new audience there. We have new editions of Autumn Story and the Complete Brambly Hedge publishing in Italian and German. Two new slipcases have been launched in Japan with a special edition postcard to celebrate all eight Brambly Hedge books publishing.

Back in the UK we have a new range of prints on the way to our shop, these will join our recent additions including the new bookmarks and notecards. A new puzzle range is about to launch in North America, and we will also have a puzzle available here in the UK in the next few weeks. More details to follow on our social media.

The world outside Brambly Hedge continues to be as tumultuous as ever. Recently we have teamed up with our publishers, Harper Collins, to support the National Literary Trust Ukraine appeal by donating Brambly Hedge books. We hope that the books can at least bring some comfort or escape, even if it’s just for a moment.

As the nights draw in, the harvest is gathered, and winter approaches, we hope you have a safe and fruitful autumn.

Pete Barklem

England

Late October 2022

 

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