In sleepy mid-Wales the inhabitants of the Nant Valley are reeling from a double-death in a ditch and a shock act of vandalism that threatens to put the tiny town of Abernant on the map. When a lovelorn hill-sheep farmer is revealed as the vandalism culprit, and jailed for molesting a statue, the race for his land is on. But it is not just farmers who throw their caps into the ring. Stefan, wealthy foreign incomer and would-be squire, has ambitions beyond organising the Nant's first croquet orgy, and is after a vista big enough to contain his ego. Young Rhys has just got a diploma in Business Studies and hopes to lure middle managers to bond in mud on wilderness weekends. And Gwyn, magistrate and conservationist, longs to create a nature reserve for his beloved birds, but first has to find the funds. Elsewhere in the valley, life is punctuated by the museum's exhibitions of grass paintings, the Lord-Lieutenant's doodle auction, a policeman's lethal first-aid courses, and the sound of dynamite as the 'squire' gets impatient with his trout.
Meanwhile the futures of a penniless playboy, a history teacher on the game, and a dealer in penis replicas hang in the balance as everyone awaits the outcome of the land auction. But when a cat goes walkabout late on a wet afternoon, a bizarre sequence of events changes all the odds.
Barry Pilton has written plays, sitcoms and sketches for TV, including Not The Nine O'Clock News, and has written and broadcast extensively for radio. He has worked with many stars of light entertainment, among them Griff Rhys Jones, Prunella Scales, David Jason and Ian Richardson. He is currently working on the TV adaptation of The Valley, which was published by Bloomsbury in February 2005. For many years he lived in mid-Wales and now lives in Bristol.