In August 2021 I was commissioned by The Forest Economic Partnership to work collaboratively with my friend Elle Ireland to create a range of film and audio content to stimulate discussion around The Forest Of Dean becoming a UNESCO Biosphere reserve. Elle is an acrobat, classical flute player and has a degree in Biomedical Science. We used the them of balance to explore a range of themes which emerged through many conversations with the people who live, work and play in the Forest Of Dean. One can describe it as a unique post industrial landscape, transformed through centuries of mining, quarrying and forestry, and yet it is still very much a productive working forest. The unique history of Freemining goes back to the time of Edward 1st, and is a key element of the culture of a forest which is also inhabited by stunning wildlife such as the wild boar and goshawks which we encountered. The limestone scowles such as those we filmed at Puzzlewood date from before Roman times, and the tufa waterfalls are thousands fo years old.
We we brilliantly guided by Carolyn Black, Rich Daniels and Mikki Liddiatt, amongst others and we will both be forever grateful for their kind advice and assistance as we developed the content. The resulting Campaign Film was called The Forest we Want, and there were a series of 1 minute films for social media, plus an extra film themed around the International Declaration for the Rights of Nature.
Our most memorable experience was when filming in complete darkness at midnight on location at Puzzlewood, with Elle was Playing the flute, when having first been buzzed by bats she was then joined by two tawny owls who had a musical dialogue with her.
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