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Nuthanger Farm

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Nuthanger


Nuthanger Farm is a real place and located between Ecchinswell and the foot of Watership Down. There is a broad knoll, steeper on the North side, but falling gently on the South. Within a ring of elm tree stands the farmhouse, with its barns and out-buildings. The house may be two hundred years old or it may be older, built of brick, with a stone-faced front looking south towards the down. On the east side, in front of the house, a barn stands clear of the ground on staddle-stones; and opposite is the cow-byre. The people who live there in the novel, Mr. and Mrs. Cane, and their daughter, Lucy are fictitious. In the novel, the farm plays a huge part in the rabbits' survival and many twists within the story.

While Holly is at Efrafa, Hazel decides to visit the farm in an attempt to find the hutch rabbits that Kehaar had spotted on his search for does. Hoping to surprise the returning bucks with getting some does of his own, Hazel plans a raid to free the hutch rabbits and succeeds in returning with Haystack, Boxwood, Laurel and Clover, two of whom are does. In the raid, however, Hazel is shot and thought to be dead until Fiver, in one of his trances, finds him alive. The raid results in a crippled Hazel but the first does and litters of the Watership Down Warren.

Later, the farm plays the most important part of all, when Hazel, Blackberry and Dandelion execute a plan to release the Labrador, Bob, that lives there and have it follow them back to their warren and destroy the Efrafan attackers. This becomes the defeat of General Woundwort and the salvation of the warren. During this however, Hazel is captured by the farm cat, Tab and was rescued by Lucy, the youngest resident of the farm. She and her mother’s doctor drive Hazel nearly all the way back to Watership Down, where he is greeted by his comrades and told that his plan saved the warren. This fulfills Hyzenthlay’s prediction that a rabbit would ride in a Hrududu.

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